TargetSpot Signs Three More Broadcasters, Opens to Advertisers

TargetSpot, a five-month-old company that lets advertisers create their own spots for placement on streaming radio Web sites, is now open for business.

The New York-based startup signed agreements last month with, CBS Radio, Entercom Communications last month, and added deals with Beasley Broadcast Group, Rubber City Radio Group and Haystack Media.

“As of now, you can go to as an advertiser and actually buy in-stream advertising on several stations that are currently live,” said company CEO Doug Perlson. “The really exciting thing is the ability to not just be able to buy those ads, but to create those ads online… Up to now, if you wanted to place an ad in radio – online or terrestrial – you needed to hire professional creatives and you needed to work through some sort of rep.”

He said there is sure to be a market for do-it-yourself streaming radio advertisers. “Just look at the hundreds of thousands of advertisers that use Google AdWords or Yahoo Search Marketing who place ads themselves, do their own budgets and create copy,” said Perlson. “They can now do that for Internet radio.”

TargetSpot advertisers can buy pre-roll ads or spot audio units between :10 and :60, and in-stream audio ads that are tethered to a visual ad that runs in the media player, said Perlson. “Whenever they hear an audio ad, there’s a visual the advertiser also runs,” he said. “It can say ‘Click here for two-for-one pizzas’ or whatever. There is that interactive element to it.”

To create the spots, DIY advertisers have a number of options. “You can use microphone on your computer or you can use our text-to-speech technology,” said the CEO. “We have several voices that are currently in operation and many more coming online soon. We have a myriad of sound effects and jingles. You can mix in sound effects and jingles on top of the audio you created, giving the ability to really customize it and play around with it.”

Perlson said advertisers can upload their existing banners or use stock images “and have them all hyperlinked to their Web sites.”

The ad sales will be based on the CPM bid model typical of search marketing campaigns. “You are prompted to pay what is needed to reach your desired market,” said Perlson. “At some point someone could potentially outbid you and you’d lose the ability to get impressions. Then, we notify you and you get the opportunity to bid more. This gives all advertisers an opportunity to play in the game and it also gives local advertisers — who have a super-valuable customer base that might be small geographically — the chance to go in and not have to overpay.”

Advertisers can open TargetSpot accounts with as little as $50. Ads can be targeted on a “bunch of levels,” said Perlson. These include station format, geography and (if a station collects listener registration data) age, location and gender.

He said the company hopes to satisfy a desire among broadcasters to easily “monetize their streaming media audience.”

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