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January 5, 2007
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Internet Radio Advertising Auction On A Roll

If I had one sentence to outline the major problem with the independent online radio industry it would read like this: "Internet radio stations have not benefited from advertising revenue because they fail to reach out to advertisers in an industry-wide, consistent, organized way."

Anyone can check me on this belief. I've been talking about it since 2000, six years before joining Spacial Audio's team. (See disclaimer, below.)

"Aggregation of the internet radio audience is the only way major advertisers will feel comfortable about using this medium."

On January 26, whether your station is a part of it or not, radio advertisers will offer their campaign budgets in a system that allows independent online radio stations to bid for the right to carry the ad campaign. It's a new approach to selling and buying online radio advertising, conceived by Bid4Spots and powered by Spacial Audio StreamAds technology. Entercom, CBS Radio, and various internet radio stations - numbering in the hundreds - use StreamAds to power their online revenue.

(Credit where credit's due: The person responsible for first pitching this "auction" is a slightly-hyperactive Rockie Thomas, who's now a Bid4Spots employee but comes from Spacial Audio. God, grant me the energy this woman has.)

The auction allows advertisers to request formats. It lets stations avoid ad campaigns that don't fit their formats. This auction brings advertisers to the table for participating radio stations, while it ties the radio stations together so the advertiser deals with one invoice. (What doesn't make sense about this?)

There are audience data reports for each campaign that will make Arbitron envious, and flexibility of choice for the most ardent radio purist, relative to which ads are run. Then there's the concept of advertisers placing campaign budgets up for grabs each week - you're bidding for their business. (This is going to be better than a game of Texas Holdem.)

Aggregation of the internet radio audience is the only way major advertisers will feel comfortable about using this medium. Viewing the Bid4Spots auction...

From the advertiser's side, millions of impressions are offered, across
hundreds of radio stations, and the advertiser only pays one invoice.
Plus, the advertiser/agency receives a detailed report of their campaign's

From the radio staion side, it's a list of advertisers who are seeking an
RFP (request for proposal), only the proposals are filled out as auction bids.

From early reports I can see that internet radio stations are getting involved with the Bid4Spots auction. The last update has nearly 600 stations filling out a registration. That's a good enough response for me to say "the way that internet radio advertising is sold and bought is now changing."

Internet radio has an audience: Bridge Ratings shows 72 million now tuning in, with a prediction it will be 80 million by year's end.

Here is an opportunity for online radio stations to step into the world of economic viability - to generate revenue through a system that is online, easy to use, and that brings an industry-consistent approach to buying online radio advertising.

Sign your station up now.

Or continue to try and get any advertiser's attention on your own.
(What makes sense about this?)

(Disclaimer: I am VP of Marketing for Spacial Audio, the company that created the software for this new online radio advertising system. But that position does not sway my belief that this Bid4Spots online radio advertising auction is the best effort yet to coordinate the sale of advertising on internet radio stations.)

Today's indie artist introduction is to...
Pop artist Dolly Rappaport
sample song
Am I Dreamin'?

Download Song


We listen for songs that evoke emotion; fast, slow, female, male, group, it doesn't matter. When an artist has the power to please, they should be given a chance to be heard.

Give Dolly Rappaport's "Am I Dreamin'?" a listen.

Add it to your playlist, free! Such is the new world of music distribution.

It's time internet radio programmers reach into a huge pile of untapped talent.
It is here where new hit songs will increasingly be found.

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