Web Radio Has Momentum

mediaweekOne thing that Web radio has going for it is momentum. So says MediaWeek, in a broadly informative article about Internet radio’s strengths, advertisers and audience metrics. The article features advertiser Esurance as an example of the kind of advertiser who bought into Internet radio early (the advertiser started running spots on Internet radio stations in November 2006), and has steadily increased its spending in the medium. The company’s media director Darren Howard says the medium’s targetability and popularity with the right demographic are appealing and Esurance now spends half of its radio budget on Internet radio stations.

They’re not alone –  other early online radio advertisers such as Lending Tree, Orbitz, Match.com, Walmart, Ace Hardware and Proctor and Gamble. More and more national advertisers are seeing the value in online radio’s fast growing audience.

Revenue is growing, national advertising is increasing, so how much is the Internet radio ad space marketplace worth? Not so easy to find an answer to that one. There isn’t any easy way to determine that, given the lack of any central reporting for the industry. While hard numbers may be lacking in terms of revenue in the marketplace, there’s plenty of data available on the audience, as this comprehensive article points out. From Arbitron’s annual analysis of the marketplace, we know that 17% of the 12+ population is listening on a weekly basis, up from 8% a couple of years ago.

One of Internet radio’s greatest assets is its measurability. Online connections mean that each listener can be counted and every impression tracked. Internet radio tech startup Ando Media has made who’s listening to Internet radio its business, and earlier this year much of the marketplace consolidated in choosing Ando’s Webcast Metrics as its uniform audience measurement platform. That’s a good thing, according to MediaVest’s Melissa Colon, “It’s really hard to evaluate when they’re all on different measurements.”

Internet radio’s measureability is one of thebiggest attractions to advertisers, who are expecting more from their ad dollars. So says Maja Mijatovic, VP, Director of National Radio at Horizon. Internet radio’s “ability to guarantee impressions and provide a post within 48 hours after a campaign runs sets it apart from terrestrial radio.” This will lead the radio industry to greater accountability, she says.

Despite the title, (Stream it Like You Mean it), this is a good article. It’s great that more mainstream trades are taking note of Internet radio and writing about it!

2 responses

  1. I read this article. Unfortunately the writer calls radio over the Internet either Internet radio or Web radio. The Internet is not the same as the Web.

    From what I read it seems that the industry hasn’t yet figured out what the Internet is and how to use it properly.

    Take this::

    ‘But according to Melissa Colon, senior activation associate for MediaVest, if streaming radio is to come into its own and reach its full marketing potential, it must offer clients proven ways to zero in locally. “Internet radio started off being national, but now needs to move to where all of their vendors can geo-target; there will be campaigns that require that,” she says. “If we’re going to include online radio in all of our campaigns, we want to make sure that it can have all the capabilities terrestrial radio has.”’

    Apart from yet using another name “online radio” the lack of understanding about the implications of the Internet is staggering.

    “Internet radio started off being national” – sorry, what about the time-zone differences in the US. People cannot listen to radio programming where the scheduling time (daypart) does not correspond with the listeners local time. This is a basic fact we have dealt with since broadcast radio came into being.

    Just apply the ‘local’ test to see what I mean. Could you take the real-time streamed output from a station based in and serving LA, broadcast it over an FM transmitter in New York and get an audience? Of course not, the time of day in New York is not the same moment in real-time as the time of day in LA. Radio is a temporal medium.

    “but now needs to move to where all of their vendors can geo-target” – so advertisers must geo-target, what about the programming/content?

    The most important task for radio was mentioned, but not as a job for the broadcaster: “it must offer clients proven ways to zero in locally” – but the station/service must also find the way to do that with the programming/content too! Radio is a temporal medium.

    No, the industry hasn’t figured out the requirements of the Internet at all, it is not even close. Radio is a temporal medium, dayparting for programming/content is crucial and where there is more than one time-zone in a country, you must come up with a way to do it in all those zones. And, the law of the Internet dictates you are global and local at the same, not national.

    There is a major flaw with the all technology used to stream radio on the Internet. It does not achieve the human requirements over distance. Until someone designs something that does, no amount of strategy which doesn’t involve that fix is not going to bring about a viable business model.

    Radio has a problem with the Internet, the people calling the shots don’t understand it and articles like this also convince me they don’t understand how the medium works either.

  2. Huh?

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