Online social music service imeem has launched a mobile advertising platform designed to work with Google’s new Android operating system. Kia Motors America signed on as the first advertiser for the platform, currently available only for the G1 phone sold by T Mobile.
The Kia campaign, designed by Initiative’s Los Angeles office in order to market the automaker’s new youth-oriented Kia Soul vehicle, includes a branded presence across the imeem user interface. In addition to a branded Kia profile and display ads on imeem’s own site, there will also be a new Kia Soul-branded streaming radio station.
“When you have one of these radio station opportunities you really want to know who your focus target is and select music that’s appropriate,” said Kia Motors America Customer Relationship Marketing Manager David Schoonover. The Kia Soul, coming to dealerships early next year, is sporty car aimed at younger drivers.
The streaming station uses a new version of imeem’s ad-supported Android product that allows owners of Android-based mobile devices to stream Internet radio stations for free.
The ad service gives brands a new way to “tap into the social music experience,” said Matt Graves, VP of marketing at imeem.
The new features include location-based streaming, a function that allows users to listen to streamed music from stations in their regions, get detailed artist biographies and discographies, and artist recommendations based on the system’s knowledge of the users’ musical tastes. The new platform also features a new “seasonal station” that plays popular holiday music.
Schoonover said the popularity of mobile applications, a movement that caught fire with the introduction of Apple’s iPhone, seems to be the key to mobile advertising. “Mobile marketing, from an online advertising standpoint, is still very much an evolving space and I think it’s been slow to get off the ground,” said Schoonover. “But one of the most interesting things to us at Kia is the use of applications in mobile devices seems to be a catalyst that is helping mobile marketing move to the next level.”
An earlier version of this story incorrectly implied Initiative handled the work from its New York office. In fact, all Kia’s digital assignments are carried out by the agency’s LA office.