Posts from Advertising

Everyone Can Be A Radio Advertiser

Our portfolio company Targetspot launched a new simplified self serve interface to their radio advertising platform this week. If you have a local business and want to reach hundreds of thousands of radio listeners in your area for a few hundred dollars, you should check it out.

It's one click to try a new form of radio advertising.

And to make things easy on everyone, they are offering a free voice ad, spoken by real voice over talent, to anyone who tries out the service for the first time.

I just tried it and made a voice ad for this blog. Yes, you may hear some on air advertising for AVC in the coming weeks. It's really simple. If you have a business you'd like to advertise on radio and internet audio sites like Yahoo Music, AOL Radio, Myspace Music, etc, you should check it out and let me know what you think.

#VC & Technology

Ad Spend Trends

This chart is from a deck put together by Hal Varian, Google's Chief Economist

Ad spend trends

The thing that jumps out at you is the long and structural decline in newspaper ad revenue as a share of the total market. And that's why Hal put this slide in his deck.

But the thing that jumps out at me is the line called Internet. I don't know what that includes. It could just be display. It could be all Internet. I don't have time this morning to do the legwork to figure that out.

But what this chart says is that over that past decade Internet has gone from nothing to 5% of all the ad spend in the US.

That is the most bullish signal about investing in the Internet that I have seen this year. If you include audio over the Internet (what radio becomes) and video over the Internet (what TV and cable become) in the Internet line, then I bet Internet will someday be over two-thirds of the ad spend.

Time to get get out our checkbook and start making some more bets.

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#VC & Technology

Lupe Fiasco's Enemy Of The State Mixtape: A Study In Music Business Models

My daughter turned me onto Lupe Fiasco a couple weeks ago. When I start listening to a new artist, I often will go to the Hype Machine and listen to a stream of their music. In the process of doing that, I came across Lupe’s new Enemy Of The State mixtape which is the “artist of the weekend” on this weekend.

Enemy Of The State is a mixtape which means it is a bunch of tracks that Lupe remixed and put out for free on the Internet. Artists who Lupe remixed on Enemy Of The State include Radiohead, Lil Wayne and Jay-Z.

I don’t know what the economic relationship is between Lupe and all of these artists he remixed. Clearly that impacts the cost of putting out a mixtape. But the fact that a major recording artist like Lupe is putting out free music is pretty interesting to me. He plans to put out another mixtape called “Friend Of The People” later this month.

The last track on Enemy Of The State is called “HP Skit”.

HP Skit

Give that track a listen and then watch this HP advertisement which features Lupe and others.

So Lupe included an HP advertisement on the Enemy Of The State mixtape. Let’s say Enemy Of The State is downloaded a half million times. And let’s say that the average downloader listens to the mixtape all the way through five times. Then that HP ad would be listened to 2.5 million times. At a $10 cpm (high but not crazy high), that would be worth $25,000 as an audio ad buy. If Lupe could put out one of these mixtapes a month, then that’s $300,000 per year. 

I was in a board meeting last week and one of the company founders made a very interesting assertion about the difference between old media and new media. He asserted that old media is about how much money you can charge each viewer. New media is about how many viewers you can get.

Now that’s a gross oversimplification of his assertion, but the point is useful. The whole free mixtape movement is about getting as many listeners as possible, using existing music for the most part. The idea of monetizing it with lightweight advertising (nobody forces you to listen to HP Skit and it comes at the end) is very interesting to me.

It will be interesting to see if we get more of this kind of thing. I think we will.

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#My Music#Web/Tech

Looking For An Expert In SEO/SEM/Online Direct Marketing

Our portfolio company Targetspot is looking for an experienced online direct marketer to "own" and manage their self serve advertising business.

is a fun job for the right person because it is an opportunity to run
and grow a small business inside a bigger business. If you are an "entrepreneur" looking for a chance to show what you can do, this job is probably a good fit for you.

Targetspot's self service ad
business is growing nicely and we want to invest and grow it using
classic online direct marketing channels and measurement systems.

right candidate will have significant experience in:

  • Knowledge of Google
    Analytics and ability to test results on campaign landing
  • Experience in SEO, SEM or both (either as an affiliate, or as
    part of an e-commerce site).
  • Internet media buying.
  • Online direct
  • Webmaster experience.

The job description is here and if you are interested, please email [email protected] with "Self Service" in the subject.

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#Listings#VC & Technology

Local Media's Hidden Asset: Their Salesforces

I've said this before on this blog and I'll say it again. Traditional local media companies; radio stations, TV stations, local newspapers, and the like, are in a tough situation. Each of those businesses had a monopoly or near monopoly on their audiences a decade ago. Now none of them do.

The owners and operators of these businesses have been trained to think their strengths are local and relevant content, their monopolies or near monopolies on distribution (spectrum in the case of radio and TV), and their brands. All of these assets are waning quickly.

But there is one asset that is still quite significant and the value of it is growing, not shrinking. It is their large, well trained, and well connected salesforces.

I was reminded of this fact when I read Claire Cain Miller's piece on Curbed and the Village Voice today. Before I go on I should disclose that The Gotham Gal and I are small investors in Curbed and The Gotham Gal is what I like to call a "hands on investor" in the company.

As Claire explains in her piece:

The Village Voice …. has built this sales force over
five decades as a weekly newspaper. So it is acting as a local ad
network for Curbed, Mr. Steele said, selling local businesses ads for
its Web site as well as the Curbed blogs and then sharing revenue. In
return, it gets to offer Curbed’s articles and readers, in addition to
its own, to lure advertisers.

This story is playing out all around local media these days.

We have an investment in the leading online audio ad network, Targetspot. Targetspot has online audio advertising inventory from many of the largest radio station groups, as well as audio inventory from "pure play internet" services like AOL, Yahoo, Live365, Slacker, and several more that have not yet been announced. Advertisers don't buy the individual stations or services, they buy the network, either on a national, spot, or local basis.

When the network is "sliced" along a local dimension, like "all online audio listeners in New York City" that inventory is valuable to a local advertiser. And Targetspot's radio station partners who have salesforces in New York City can make good money selling the local network buy. And increasingly they are interested in doing just that.

But it doesn't stop at CPM buys like banners and audio ads. The same thing is happening in search and leads. Our portfolio company Clickable has a service called Platform that local media companies use to resell search and leads that come from search ads to their local advertisers.

This makes all the sense in the world. The media business, either on the national or local level, is losing its grip on audiences as they fragment and disperse all over the digital realm (including of course mobile). But they do not need to lose their grip on the relationships they have built up with local merchants since the days of Mad Men. What they need to do, and what they are increasingly doing, is reselling the inventory of others to their customers. As Claire points out in the NY Times piece on Curbed and The Village Voice, it is a win win for everyone, including the local merchants and their customers and potential customers.

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#VC & Technology#Web/Tech

Tracking Audio Advertising

Our portfolio company Targetspot announced something pretty interesting today. They are calling it Targetspot Analytics and the announcement is here.

When you run an ad campaign on the web, you can track its performance. That's been a vital part of the online advertising value proposition from the early days of web advertising. We can argue about what metrics are worth tracking, and we do, but the ability to measure online advertising is a key reason it is growing and other forms of advertising are in decline.

But it has been hard to measure the "performance" of video and audio advertising, particularly "in stream" advertising like pre-rolls and mid-rolls. That is because users don't click on the ads and leave the stream.

But we know that radio and video advertising works. People see and hear things and they remember them. I listen to WEHM on long island all summer and I know where to get outdoor furniture, get a tennis court resurfaced, and where to get my bike tuned up because I listen to the ads in between the music.

So back to Targetspot Analytics. This is how it works:

TargetSpot Analytics tracks the unique and total visits to any
advertiser-designated destination website along with other data,
following the delivery of an online radio ad. This information gives
agencies and advertisers the ability to measure a true return on
investment and optimize the performance of their online radio campaigns.

TargetSpot Analytics is easily implemented: An advertiser simply adds a
small snippet of code to their destination website that corresponds to
their TargetSpot ad campaign. TargetSpot Analytics can then provide
information on each visit to the advertiser’s website, even if the
consumer arrives there later through a search engine or by typing the
website directly into the browser.

The bike store on long island doesn't know that I showed up to get my bike tuned up because of their ad on WEHM but if they ran that ad on WEHM's internet stream and I went to their website to look up their location before heading over, they would. That kind of tracking and measurement is the power of internet advertising in action and I am excited to see it come to audio and video in stream advertising.

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#Music#VC & Technology#Web/Tech