Daily Archives: June 27th, 2011

A Digital Place to Buy and Sell Radio Ads

A new company with some not so new faces has launched a platform designed to enable advertisers and stations to easily buy and sell on-air and online ad inventory. Called The Media Dash Local (www.themediadashlocal.com), the digital platform provides an easy way for small- and mid-sized businesses to buy advertising on local radio stations.

Rob Williams and Drew Hilles launched The Media Dash, which is designed to help broadcasters sell premium on-air and streaming commercials to both new and repeat advertisers. It’s not their first adventure together, the two paired up as the team that launched Goom Radio in the US, but left not too long after that. Williams comes from a Clear Channel based background in broadcast management, while Hilles was with dMarc, a broadcast traffic platform company that was acquired by Google, where Hilles then spent a few years.

This project resembles attempts Google has made to make radio ad inventory buying and selling more digital. Google’s goal was to make it easy for local and smaller advertisers who were already spending ad dollars with Google on things like search and adwords to add audio to that mix. The plan failed when many broadcasters, wary of Google’s intrusion into their territory, refused to participate. Since then, a few other companies have tried it – Bid4spots is an auction based online marketplace for radio inventory. Targetspot offers a similar “self service advertising platform” that enables local advertisers to get an audio ad made and select a target area and budget.

“Due to limited resources, local radio stations typically focus their sales efforts on their largest customers, failing to address a broad market opportunity of under-served local advertisers,” said Drew Hilles, CEO of The Media Dash.  “Our goal is to make it as easy to buy local radio as it is to place Internet advertising. The Media Dash Local is designed to bring new advertisers to radio and generate incremental revenues for stations.”

Targetability is the other key feature to being able to compete for digital dollars, and this system enables advertisers to select local markets where they want their ads to run. Available markets are limited, but will presumably increase. Ultimately, as Google learned, the service will have to be able to offer lots of inventory from lots of markets in order to succeed.

The platform also allows you to decide whether you want to run creative that you may have, or offers to produce audio ads for free, something that will no doubt add to the success of the plan as it tries to bring new digital advertisers into the radio marketplace. Watch the video below for more info.

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