Last week the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) announced several major initiatives designed to standardize many elements of working with interactive ad campaigns and publishers. The initiatives encompass everything from standardizing and automating the exchange of business orders to issuing workflow and ad serving best practices to reduce discrepancies and increase advertiser/agency satisfaction. The goals of the initiatives are impressive because they focus on making the medium easier to use and more reliable for the customer.
According to Mediapost, one of the issues prompting these major steps was that a 2006 review by the American Association of Advertising Agencies found that online was the medium least capable of trading electronically, and the one generating the highest discrepancy rates for agencies and advertisers. Whether that’s true or not, these initiatives aim to cure that. The E-Business standards outlined cover everything from the RFP, proposal and insertion order, to invoices and real time reporting, all handled through one electronic data exchange platform.
Again, according to Mediapost, these E-business standards will be integrated into companies’ order management, ad-serving and billing software and undergo beta-testing through next year with partners including Donovan Data Systems, Turner Broadcasting, DoubleClick, Atlas, CBS Interactive and Yahoo.
This is the kind of system that will encourage more dollars to flow to interactive. It promises a high degree of accountability, uniformity, and ease of use. It’s the kind of system that agencies have been trying to get radio to build for a long time. And it’s being built by the IAB, an independant association, for the benefit of the industry.
There’s no doubt in my mind, when I read something like this, that Internet radio needs to find a voice, establish an association, and begin looking forward. The buzz around Internet radio right now is significant, and the promise is huge. The broadcast radio industry does not have the futuristic outlook it is going to take to create major opportunities within the interactive world for online radio. It’s critical for the Internet radio industry – both streaming broadcasters and online brands – to come together, create its own independant association, and design its future as an interactive medium by focusing on the best way to promote growth through accountability, uniformity, and ease of use.