It’s been a while since AndoMedia released a monthly Webcast Metrics ranker, so I had been wondering what was up. Apparently, there were problems in the land of Ando last month and the result is a ranker for August that is missing some information:
Due to an error in Log Processing we are unable to provide accurate statistics on certain metrics for certain clients. These fields are marked Not Available (N/A). We apologize for the inconvenience.
Hmmm. I guess that’s why the press release came out after 4:30 on a friday afternoon…
Ando Media and Spacial Audio, two of the largest Internet radio advertising technology platforms, announced a merger yesterday. It’s a pairing that makes a lot of sense, given that Ando Media’s list of client stations was largely streaming broadcasters, while Spacial Audio’s client list was largely online streaming stations. Ando Media, working with over 6,500 affiliates, has become the leader in audience measurement with its Webcast Metrics audience measurement product. Ando also provides ad replacement technology for terrestrial broadcasters. Spacial Audio has been the leader in providing automation, ad-insertion and an array of other digital services to primarily pure-play webcasters.
“This merger brings together the strength of Ando’s more terrestrial customer base with Spacial’s large Internet-only base,” said Bob Maccini, Ando CEO. “Together, we now are working across the entire spectrum to drive the streaming audio category to new levels.”
Spacial CTO and co-founder Louis Louw said, “The complementary nature of our technologies will allow each company to offer expanded capabilities to our established customer bases.”
It’s true, the two companies have similar capabilities, but while Ando Media’s system had been designed for and marketed to streaming broadcasters, Spacial Audio’s technology provides similar tools to online brands.
Both companies have also had some strategic successes this year that helped them emerge as significant players in the marketplace. Ando Media’s Webcast Metrics has recently emerged as the defacto choice for Internet radio audience measurement, adding Targetspot and Pandora in addition to their existing long list of clients. Meanwhile, Spacial Audio partnered with Google Audio last spring to offer its stations the chance to work with that platform.
Since they announced that they were planning to sell more audio ads, I’ve been wondering which Internet radio ad network Pandora would align themselves with. It certainly makes sense for them to partner with a network, and the choice of Katz 360 is a good one for Pandora. They already sell many cross platform opportunities that integrate display ads, mobile offerings, as well as audio ads, and Katz 360 has specifically marketed itself as more than just an online audio network.
In addition, Katz’ connections and expertise in traditional radio ad sales will enable Pandora to play in another sandbox – that of radio ad dollars. Pandora’s already been doing a pretty good job monetizing with interactive ad dollars. The Katz name, connections, and extensive list of broadcast stations streams have enabled them to successfully convert traditional radio advertisers to online radio advertisers as well, and this is no doubt appealing to Pandora.
The addition of Pandora is a huge win for Katz – and one that they were looking for, since their main competitor Targetspot includes CBS’s network with AOL, Yahoo and Last.fm; as well as Goom Radio and Slacker within its network.
While audience figures for Pandora have not been released yet, they did announce last spring that they would be measured by Ando Media’s Webcast Metrics, an audience measurement product that both Katz and Targetspot now use.
Katz Online Network and Ando Media announced that they’ve reached an agreement that will allow all national sales agents in the digital audio space to utilize Webcast Metrics for audience measurement. Webcast Metrics is Ando Media’s server based audience measurement platform. Prior to this announcement, Katz Online Network had been the exclusive media representation firm using Webcast Metrics. This announcement clears the way for other firms to subscribe to Webcast Metrics for audience measurement.
Currently, some online radio rep companies use comScore Arbitron and some use Webcast Metrics. Until recently, ComScore Arbitron’s biggest subscribing stations were AOL and Yahoo, but with CBSRadio taking both of those entities into their online network, they moved to the Webcast Metrics audience measurement platform which CBSRadio was already using. Clear Channel recently selected Webcast Metrics for audience measurement as well. Targetspot represents CBSRadio’s entire online radio network, while Katz Online also represents the streaming broadcast stations in its network. But Targetspot is not a subscriber to Webcast Metrics. Now, Katz has opened up their exclusive deal with Ando Media to allow them and other media rep companies access to the audience measurement platform they believe should become the standard.
Katz Online’s Brian Benedik says “This will enable the industry to move toward adopting a standard methodology for online radio audience measurement. No doubt, buyers would welcome an industry standard.” Agencies and buyers should welcome the ability to compare all stations within one measurement platform – this could very well stimulate additional spending from national advertisers.
UPDATE: Ando Media’s Bob Maccini confirms that Targetspot will indeed subscribe to Webcast Metrics and use it for audience measurement of its network.