Monetizing Mobile Audio

I'm going to the gym in a few minutes. I'll bring my android and stream some music while I'm on the treadmill. Maybe I'll listen to my soundcloud dropbox, or maybe I'll check out the popular tracks on hypem, or maybe I'll listen to some fredwilson.fm. I stream music on my mobile phone all the time. I don't have a single mp3 on my android and I don't have any desire to put any on it.

This is the future. We won't be buying files, moving files, and listening to files. We'll be streaming audio from the cloud onto our connected devices in our homes and offices, and onto our mobile devices at the gym, on the bike, in the car, etc. And I think mobile streaming audio is going to be huge.

How will the mobile audio streaming services make money? Some will charge a subscription. But I believe, like the radio industry for the past 50 years, most will make money by running commercial messages in the stream once or twice an hour.

And yesterday, our portfolio company Targetspot, launched the first mobile audio ad network. Initial mobile streamers include AOL Radio, Yahoo Music, CBS Radio, and Radio.com.

Targetspot built and operates the largest streaming audio advertising network and has been the leader in this market for the past three years. This move into mobile is very exciting to me because it will allow advertisers to reach music and audio listeners when they are out and about. Imagine combining mobile audio advertising with geolocation and time of day targeting.  Imagine hearing a Starbucks audio ad on your morning run alerting you to a discount on expresso drinks at the store a block away?

But most importantly, this mobile audio ad network provides a much needed monetization system for mobile audio apps (and actually any mobile app that wants to run audio spots). I believe Targetspot's mobile audio ad network will allow developers to build and launch innovative new streaming audio apps and make money from them.

If you have a mobile app that streams audio or that you would like to run audio advertising in, please contact the Targetspot team and they will give you the tools to build audio advertising into your mobile app.