New company adds video to radio stations' web streams

Monday, August 27, 2012 - 1:10pm

VadioPortland-based company Vadio creates video channels out of a radio stations' audio streams. The service plays the music video (from YouTube of Vevo) of the song currently playing on a radio station. And during commercials, stations can display logos and positioning statements. Vadio can also incorporate in-studio webcams and is aiming to add more video ads, including pre-rolls, reports RadioInfo.

All said, it provides online users the option to "watch" radio instead of just listening.

Vadio already has two stations using its service (Seattle's Hot AC Star 101.5 KPLZ-FM and 99.9 Real Country WHFB-FM in South Bend, IN) with "many more" set to go live in the new few weeks, says Vadio's Bryce Clemmer. KPLZ PD Kent Phillips tells RadioInfo page views have increased eight-fold and time spent on the site is up 30% since adding Vadio. 

You can find more coverage from RadioInfo here.

New enhanced audio for "Hangout On Air" could make Google+ a great tool for radio

Tuesday, August 14, 2012 - 2:15pm

If you're lucky enough to get musical artists to visit your studio, this looks like a really cool (and now improved!) way to give your fans a "window in" to what's happening.

Google made its Google+ "Hangouts On Air" available to all Google+ users recently, which allows anyone to host a "Hangout" and stream audio and video on both Google+ and YouTube. Apparently, musical artists are already using it to webcast performances as live "virtual concerts."

One shortcoming when it came to musical performances had been the low sound quality, but now Google has announced audio enhancements it calls "studio mode." The Verge reports "Google automatically optimizes your audio output for music rather than conversation, and the results are quite impressive... Instruments are much clearer, the mix is better balanced, and there are less audio artifacts in sounds like cymbals — it's just a much higher quality presentation."

Seems like a pretty cool way to add (and archive) great station content on your site!

Read more from The Verge (including a "before" & "after" video to show the effect of "studio mode") here.

Following ad dollars, radio looks to integrate more video content

Monday, July 30, 2012 - 12:55pm

Today Inside Radio looks the growing profitability of video ads on radio station sites and streams. The effectiveness of the ads are driving demand, and compelling radio to conceive of new ways to create video ad inventory. 

First, the news source reports that "pre-roll" videos -- those ads you're forced to watch before the content you want begins -- are about 80% of all online video ads; among broadcast radio streams, it's closer to 95%. It's not surprising then that given their position, pre-roll video generates a much higher response than in-stream display or audio ads, and commands higher CPMs (advertisers routinely pay more than $20 for every thousand impressions (cost-per-thousand, or CPM) for streaming video, while audio ads tend to come in between $6 and $10).

The high effectiveness of the ads, and associated revenue, mean advertisers are are demanding more video inventory, and publishers (like radio) are scrambling to meet that demand. The IAB (Interactive Advertising Bureau) reports online video ad revenue grew 29% to $1.8 billion last year. BIA/Kelsey predicts it will grow 51.6% in 2012 and at a compound annual rate of 36.7% from 2011-2016 (more here). Likewise, Forrester predicts online video advertising will reach $5.4 billion by 2016.

Given this environment, Inside Radio reports some stations and sites are experimenting with "mid-roll" or "in-stream" video ads that run during the spot breaks in their audio streams. The question yet to be answered, of course, is how the effectiveness of these ads could possibly match that of pre-roll video.

"The challenge is compounded by passive listeners who minimize the streaming audio player while engaging in another activity on their screen," writes Inside Radio. "That’s why some audio publishers will only serve video ads based on engagement with the player so the consumer has a higher probability of watching the full-length video ad before they get back to audio content."

Of course, one way to get people to keep the player front and center is: original video content. Inside Radio says "radio stations need to become original video content producers... with access to celebrities, involvement in live events and creative on-air talent, radio has plenty of raw materials to draw upon."

One company that has extended its brands with original video content and seeing growing client demand for video ads is Emmis in New York. "If you’re in the radio business, you better be in the video business," Alexandra Cameron, market manager at Emmis-New York, told the news source. Last July Emmis launched its online music video channel, Loud Digital Network. And just last week Emmis-New York's WQHT launched a new web television drama called "Los Blancos" (our coverage here). Emmis is even making money in video through product placement: Ciroc vodka and Boost Mobile were heavily integrated into live streaming of its Hot 97 Summer Jam concert.

Subscribe to Inside Radio here.

BIA/Kelsey expects online/digital to make up 25% of local ad market

Tuesday, July 17, 2012 - 12:00pm

BIA/Kelsey expects a 11.7% compound annual growth rate (CAGR) for radio's local online revenue in the 2011-2016 period. While television's local online revenue will grow a little more quickly (almost 13% CAGR), both trounce newspaper's (5%).

The firm also expects local ad revenues in the "online/interactive/digital" category to grow more than 13% this year, pushing the digital category past the 25% mark in the local ad market.

Probably not surprisingly, the "star" categories in BIA/Kelsey's new "U.S. Local Media Forecast (2011-2016)" are mobile, social media, and online video. The analysts expect the local mobile search segment to grow 77% this year, local online video about 52%, and social media 26%.

A summary of the report is here; purchase the full report here.

EMarketer analyst says "more media content is making its way across the social web"

Friday, June 22, 2012 - 11:50am

Paul Verna's analysis shows content publishers (e.g. news sources, video services, and even Internet radio) are making significant inroads with effectively using Facebook and Twitter to increase audience.

As of February, "content engagement" by Facebook users is up 46% compared to before Facebook introduced its "Timeline" interface.

Meanwhile, Pew Research Center’s Project for Excellence in Journalism says 39% of Twitter users say "most of the news they got on Twitter in January 2012 was not material they would have read elsewhere." Facebook's percentage 34%. Doing the math with user estimates for the two services, eMarketer figures "more than 11 million Twitter users and more than 48 million Facebook users" use the services to discover news and content.

"Marketers who are savvy about how to use Facebook are focusing... on the site’s strength as a content portal, its viral power and its ability to deliver qualitative and quantitative feedback on brand campaigns," Verna writes in his report, called "Facebook and Twitter as Media Platforms: News, Video, Music and Games."

The report is availble here. Read eMarketer's summary here.

Katz360's ad exec Mandel defends the tried-and-true "GRP" for a multi-platform world

Friday, May 18, 2012 - 11:00am

Katz360 exec Dean Mandel takes to the blog today to suggest that the tried-and-true "GRP" (gross ratings point, or 1% of a market's population) is still very useful as a "common currency" in a multiplatform video and audio world.

Online display and search are purely "online" media (and thus it makes sense to use the more recently-developed digital metrics for them). But audio and video consumers can watch TV, listen to radio, watch on a tablet, or listen on a PC or mobile device, Mandel explains. Advertisers can reach a listener or a viewer on many different devices -- thus a common metric is helpful.

Mandel argues to use the newer digital-based metrics "to add value to the GRPs for the digital portion of a video or audio buy." A seller can "add any digital engagement metrics, completion rates, click through rates add value to their platform's GRP. Now the buyer can take that information and decide that these digital GRPs indeed have additional value because of these metrics."

Read Mandel's blog post here.

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