online advertising

Songza raises $4.7M to forge ahead with ad solution program

Wednesday, September 11, 2013 - 9:20am

Internet radio service Songza completed a $4.7M round of private equity funding yesterday, almost exactly two years after receiving $2M in venture funds (as reported in CrunchBase). Yesterday’s commitment will be invested in scaling Songza’s native sponsoring platform, in which advertising creative is integrated into Songza “life moments” streams. (See Billboard's reporting here.)

Internet radio advertising lags the sophisticated user targeting of the web at large. If demographic ID is a brass ring, personal targeting is a holy grail. The most rudimentary network advertising on the web can accomplish the former, while browser-cookie placement and personal profiling can deliver startlingly individualized results. Targeting technology is what makes a user’s eyes widen in astonishment (and often alarm) when an ad pops up on Facebook that reflects browsing activity on external sites just a few minutes before, refined by an understanding of the user’s personal Facebook profile.

Internet radio ads generally convey a better sense of protected privacy, but in advertising, privacy equals cluelessness and reduced value. For users who don’t have knee-jerk reactions against targeted ads, irrelevant sponsor messages that interrupt an audio stream can seem all the more intrusive and annoying for their blindness. Recent tests of iHeartRadio (video pre-roll) and Pandora mobile (display pop-ups) betray some network buying at a low value to both the user and the advertiser. (Songza runs irrelevant ads, too.)

Songza’s specialty programming offers curated music streams targeted to common life situations, day parts, environments, and moods. The categories are often smartly thought-out; one at-work channel eliminates all lyrics (good for writers). It makes sense, and might even be pioneering, to evolve ad solutions that match the “life moments” of each stream, where the curation of sponsor messaging is pertinent to the user’s real-world circumstance. And since Songza offers registration via Facebook and Google+ (standard for many sites, but not all internet listening services), and requires access to the user’s personal profile, the second crucial part of holy-grail targeting is in place.

Songza isn’t mentioned as often as Pandora, Apple, and Spotify in industry coverage. But this round of capital funding could result in distinct revenue rewards, while providing a more personalized (if snoopish) consumer experience.

Borrell forecasts radio's online ad revenue will surge 85% next year; online audio ad take to double

Wednesday, November 16, 2011 - 12:00pm
A Borrell Associates report predicts that U.S. radio’s total online ad revenue will grow 85% next year, reaching $539.4 million. And for the first time, online audio advertising will bring in more dollars for radio than on-site display ads, Borrell says.
 
Online audio ads were just 1.7% of total online spending this year. But that's forecast to more than double next year, to 3.2%. Given the shifting proportion of online listening towards pureplay webcasters (especially Pandora, see today's top story), while broadcasters can expect to bring in $159 million for the audio ads they stream in 2012, online-only radio should book $418 million (more than twice radio's take).
 
Of course, local broadcasters should have the advantage over pureplays when it comes to local online sales. And to take advantage of that, Borrell says the key will be mobile.

Borrell Associates

"While traditional local online ad spending will grow double-digits again next year," Inside Radio writes, "the real sizzle to this advertising steak is now found in mobile spending.  Borrell Associates forecasts 88% of all local online advertising will viewed on tablets, smartphones or GPS-enabled laptops by 2016." Borrell predicts local mobile advertising will spike 66% in 2012 to $4.3 billion.

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