Today Targetspot announced that it has purchased RLRadio for an undisclosed amount. Ronning Lipset Radio was the largest independant Internet radio ad sales network, with a list of stations that included CBSRadio’s group of streaming stations, AOLRadio (now operated by CBSRadio), Yahoo’s Launchcast, Live365, and some other smaller online stations. Co-Founders Ronning and Lipset will remain in place as Co-Presidents.
Targetspot’s advantage in the Internet radio marketplace is an ad insertion technology that enables them to identify and target deliver streaming audio commercials by geographic location and demographic for stations that register listeners for that information. They do business with Entercom, CBSRadio, and many other groups. CBSRadio also has an investment in Targetspot. It’s possible that CBSRadio provided the common ground for these two entities to consider a merger or buyout of one by another.
In July of 2007 Katz Radio Group acquired the other large independent Internet radio ad sales network, Net Radio Sales.That company represents many large broadcast companies including Cox, Entercom, Cumulus, CMP, and many others as well as many large independant Internet brands such as Digitally Imported, AccuRadio, 1.FM, Club977 and Radioio. Recently, they have also been exploring some joint selling opportunities with Clear Channel’s group of streaming stations. Katz also has a strong relationship with technical partner AndoMedia, who provides some tech and audience measurement advantages to that network.
The new partnership gives Ronning Lipset some new technical features that will add value to their relationships with their stations and advertisers.It also gives them access to additional funds that – according to industry buzz – they had been seeking. One interesting note is that in March Targetspot received funding from Bain Capital Ventures. Bain was one of two private equity firms involved in the recently completed buyout of Clear Channel, who owns Katz Radio Group (and Net Radio Sales).