TargetSpot Aims for Internet Radio Ads

TargetSpot is set to open its streaming radio ad serving technology and online marketplace to advertisers. It has already signed WarpRadio.com, CBS Radio, and Entercom Communications to its network.

The company created an online marketplace where advertisers can buy targeted ads including pre-roll as well as :10, :15, :30, and :60 spot audio insertions with a tethered banner that runs in the media player. The combined unit offers a visual call to action to stimulate listener response.

“Unlike other audio ads, the listener has the ability to interact with the ad,” said TargetSpot CEO Doug Perlson.

Perlson said the platform is an “interesting way for everyone from the largest of the brand advertisers to the smallest of the direct response advertisers to have a new and efficient way to promote their products.”

Advertisers will have the ability to target users by radio station, which may serve a geographical region, zip code, gender, or demographic. TargetSpot is also capable of targeting by daypart and applying frequency capping. Demographic targeting is primarily done through data collection on the radio station side, though TargetSpot compensates where data from the station is not available.

At launch, TargetSpot will sell a percentage of inventory on about 350 Internet radio stations. The network includes WarpRadio.com, which operates a network of 130 online stations; CBS Radio with over 140 online radio stations; and Entercom Communications, which streams to a nationwide network of about 90 online radio stations. TargetSpot will start with a minimum of 20 percent of each station’s inventory, though there is an opportunity to increase the inventory allotment, according to Perlson.

An impending threat of royalty hikes on Internet radio stations have left online broadcasters looking for better ways to monetize their sites.

“If you look at traditional Internet radio advertising, it has been largely national in scope,” said Perlson. “As you create more and more targeting for radio, it supports much higher CPMs. From an industry perspective, our service couldn’t be coming around at a better time.”

TargetSpot signed CBS Radio in April, Entercom in June, and added WarpRadio.com to its network this week. It spent a good part of the summer integrating the technology with each radio network, and turned on the advertiser user interface this week to ramp up for launch, which is planned for the next week or so.

Perlson, who has a background in Interactive, including ad networks, sponsored links, and building user interfaces, plans to launch an aggressive online marketing campaign over the next few months. While the campaign will be multi-dimensional, he said a big component of it will be in online radio.

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