targeting

Spotify experiments with methods to deliver ad messages beyond audio spots

Thursday, August 22, 2013 - 10:40am

Music subscription service Spotify is reportedly offering advertisers the chance to beta test a new Facebook/Twitter-like "follow" feature, which would enable brands to push content like branded playlists to listeners, AdAge reports.

Earlier this year Spotify added a 'follow' feature for artists, labels, and users. For advertisers, the feature could be a way to reach Spotify customers who pay not to hear audio ads. One advertiser who's taken a stab at it is shampoo brand Herbal Essences, which has created a playlist of songs to sing in the shower.

"Spotify is also looking at how it can enhance ad targeting beyond age, gender and geo-location to potentially include interest-level information, giving advertisers the ability to reach people who listen to certain genres or even specific artists," reports AdAge.

Meanwhile, a global music licensing company called Music Dealers has partnered with Spotify and will present what they call "Sonic Identity Workshops" to advertisers. These are to educate marketers on how to incorporate music into a brand's identity.

"Each workshop, facilitated by a panel of industry names, promises to dissect and analyse the individual attributes that make up a brand's sound," according to a press release. "Customer filters and curated playlists will then be created that match the brand’s sonic identity." Read more in AdAge here and MusicWeek here.

Triton Digital partners with Semcasting for "cookie-less" ad targeting

Thursday, August 1, 2013 - 10:40am

Triton Digital has announced a new partnership with Semcasting, a multi-channel targeting company, to increase targeting capabilities for Triton’s a2x programmatic buying platform for Internet radio.

Using Semcasting "Smart Zone" targeting technology, Triton says a2x can target every listener, regardless of device, without the use of cookies. Instead, Semcasting targets using IP addresses.

Media trading desks Xaxis and VMM are partners with Triton for a2x, which the company says has more than two billion online audio impressions from 13 publishers (including CBS, Entercom, and Univision) available every month. Triton says a2x reaches over 10 million unique listeners monthly.

Triton Digital president of market development John Rosso elaborates on the Semcasting technology in Mediapost's RTM Daily here.

mDialog introduces targeted ad-insertion product for local radio

Tuesday, June 18, 2013 - 12:50pm

Fast Company reports on the launch of "Radio Stream," a new product designed to allow local AM/FM broadcasters to insert targeted ads into their online and mobile streams, along with online couponing and social media integration.

The new product, which uses Apple's HTTP Live Streaming Protocol, is intended for "local radio stations wishing to air Pandora- and Spotify-style targeted ads," says Fast Company.

Radio Stream is made by mDialog, which has (so far) specialized in video advertising.

Fast Company's coverage is here.

Summit panelists look at accelerating revenue from ads, subscriptions, and donations

Tuesday, May 7, 2013 - 12:50pm

Triton Digital president of publisher development Dominick Milano acknowledged that there's a "disconnect" between the unprecedented amount of audio consumption made possible by Internet and mobile technology, and the fact that advertising dollars haven't moved to those platforms in levels reflective of the audience. That "disconnect" served as the premise for the Triton Digital-sponsored "Accelerating Your Revenue" panel, which Milano (at right) moderated, at last month's RAIN Summit West event in Las Vegas.

The panel covered the three principal revenue models for online radio: advertising, premium (or subscription), and listener-supported (i.e. donations).

Katz360 VP of broadcast services and online audio and video sales Dean Mandel suggested one key is the right combination of broadcast radio and online radio -- not only for ad campaigns, but in creating worthwhile listening experiences. He encouraged radio programmers to "take better advantage" of what technology has to offer to improve their online product.

"The programmers are brilliant and if they can come up with interesting content to fill instead of a lot of PSAs and ads, it will help grow the audience," Mandel (left) said.

He said he sees lots of value in what sets local broadcasting apart from national/global database-driven music webcasters: a local brand, personalities, and local content.

Mandel is also a big supporter of targeting advertising, and suggested effective listener-registration helps a lot. His "pro-tip" was for stations to look for online listening happening in markets outside your own that may command higher CPMs (his example was a Charlotte station that might have significant listening in New York City).

He also suggested that media buyers have indeed become sophisticated, and being able to provide them with targeting and third-party tagging on audio will raise CPMs.

Andrew Polsky, as VP of digital media for SBS Interactive, also deals in the advertising world. He says what his company needs is "advocacy" at the agency and buyer level, especially for the Hispanic market.

His company, aside from Hispanic-focused broadcast and online radio, owns MegaTV (video content and network) and SBS Entertainment (which is concert production). Key for him is being able to leverage all the properties as a unified platform, "offering a 360 approach to advertisers," and using content from one property on the others (see his company's LaMusica mobile app as an example).

Polsky (right) seconded Mandel's notion that there needs to be a better solution than "PSAs" to fill long stopsets when streaming broadcast content.

Michael Jackel, who is Spotify VP of West Coast advertising sales, also agreed about the power of being able to target listener groups for advertising (he addressed the perception of his company as a "subscription service," but insisted Spotify is a "dual-model" business with the large majority of its users accessing via free, ad-supported streaming).

Moderator Milano asked Jackel (left) if there were a model for subscription alone to work -- or if services need a free version to remain viable.

"If the value proposition is really there, pure subscription can work," Jackel answered. "Spotify has a great product that's free, but the premium is a great value proposition." He said, in the U.S. especially, people are used to "free," so Spotify's free streaming makes sense. "Pandora isn't winning on the subscription model because there's not that much value to their premium service," Jackel went on. "Few people will pay just to 'not have ads'. You have to offer something that's really compelling in order for people to pay for it."

Compelling content is also key to driving donation revenue for listener-supported stations, like Joe Gallagher's MVYRadio.com. After some background on WMVY-FM and its early foray into streaming (Net Radio Sales, now Katz360 and AndoMedia/Webcast Metrics, now owned by Triton Digital, were both born of these efforts), Gallagher said successful donation support relys on offering content that "serves a niche, serves a vertical" and allows for "a passionate connection" with listeners.

Gallagher is the "#1 volunteer" for Friends of MVYRadio, the non-profit 501(c)3 that runs the (now) Internet-only, listener-supported station (more in RAIN here). He's also president and CEO of Aritaur Communications, former owners of WMVY-FM. He says his listener-supported model has "worked well, really well," and allowed for year-over-year growth for the past four years. The station recently raised the necessary $600k to operate for the rest of the year.

Gallagher (right) explained that listener targeting allows him to (for example) entice donations from L.A.-area listeners by giving away tickets for a concert there.

Milano polled the panel on the likely entrance of Apple into online radio. Katz360's Manel said, "It'll grow the business, it's a good thing. It might make local AM/FM focus more on their local value proposition" -- again, meaning the personalities and local content.

Spotify's Jackel said, "It's good. When (Apple) come(s) in, advertisers and Wall Street will see the value... it lifts the industry, it publicizes other businesses, to consumers AND advertisers."

You can listen to audio coverage of this panel, and all of RAIN Summit West's content, at kurthanson.com (look in the right-hand margin).

Triton Digital CCO and general manager of data and measurement Rob Favre and SVP and general manager of international markets Jay Supovitz will be part of RAIN Summit Europe, May 23 at Brussels' Hotel Bloom. Spotify's Benelux managing director Tom Segers will also be there. Info and registration links are on the RAIN Summit Europe page.

Triton's Agovino wants radio to go for new revenue with online listening, not traditional on-air budgets

Friday, December 2, 2011 - 12:25pm

Mike AgovinoTriton Media COO Mike Agovino "took to the blog" this week to point out that with October's Webcast Metrics, the total measured online listening audience has now passed 1.6 million "Average Active Sessions (AAS)" for the "workday" daypart (M-F 6A-8P). [AAS is Total Listening Hours (TLH) divided by hours in the reported time period. Similarly to Arbitron's "Average Quarter Hour," you can think of it as "the number of listeners at an average moment within the time period." ]

The online radio audience measured by Triton Webcast Metrics, Agovino says, is growing by about 100,000 AAS every 3 months (see the chart on the right). Should the industry be able to maintain that growth, Internet radio will have a 3 million AAS by 2015 -- 10% of radio's total audience.Webcast Metrics AAS quarterly trends

Agovino took the occasion to explain how  radio's current audience is worth $650-$900 million in revenue to the industry (between pre-roll audio/video ads, instream audio ads, and display ads with typical CPMs).

But he makes another point here too. You may know Arbitron is planning to roll out an "integrated audience" measurement system (see today's top story) -- to tally listening to radio whether its online or over-the-air. Arbitron wants to allow radio to present the online audience using the same traditional broadcast metrics, thereby enabling ad buyers to more easily extend their buys across both platforms. But instead of combining listening, Agovino wants radio to create a new revenue channel. He's suggesting broadcasters should be able to dip into both marketers' broadcast and interactive budgets alike.

"The dimensions of online audio expand the offering way beyond sound to include the interactive, targeting and visual benefits of online ads," he wrote. "Digital, mobile and social budgets are prime targets for this base of impressions... Selling the online audience with the on-air audience relegates publishers to fishing in the same revenue streams as they have always fished. These are not the budgets that are growing, but rather the ones that are shrinking."

Read more from Triton Media COO Mike Agovino here.

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