Posts from Radio

The Internet Radio "Super Demographic"

Our portfolio company TargetSpot recently conducted two large research studies on the Internet Radio listener. For those that don't know, TargetSpot is the leading third party advertising network for streaming audio.

I've been an Internet Radio/Streaming Audio listener for over a decade and have always thought that Internet Radio listeners represented an ideal demographic for marketers to reach and influence. The TargetSpot research confirms that and then some. Internet Radio listeners are a "super demographic" and marketers should pay attention to this research and start creating programs to reach them.

Here are some of the findings:

– 39% of the US population listens to Internet Radio regularly

– Internet Radio listeners are affluent and influential

– 80% of Internet Radio listeners spend between 1 & 3 hours per day listening

– 45% of Internet Radio listeners listen on a phone and 14% listen on a tablet

– 73% change stations throughout the day. Internet Radio listeners are not exclusive to any one service

– 56% listen to Internet Radio while shopping

– running an Internet Radio campaign in parallel with a broadcast radio campaign increases response 3.5x

– running an Internet Radio campaign in parallel with an internet banner campaign increases response 2x

The way I see it (confirmed by this research) Internet Radio listeners are the leading edge/cutting edge demographic that try out new things first, recommend them to their friends, and provide the word of mouth mojo marketers are looking for. And they are available to be reached on average a couple hours every day. That's a super demographic to market to.


What Does The Internet Mean For Radio?

I'm sitting here writing a blog post and listening to my radio station, And I'm thinking about what the Internet means for radio. The reason is next Tuesday afternoon at 3:40pm I'm going to sit down with my friend David Goodman and Joe Crump from Razorfish and try to answer that very question. We'll be at the Radio Ink Forecast 2011 conference at the Harvard Club. If you work in the streaming media or radio industry, maybe I'll see you there.

David and I were talking the other night about this session and what we should talk about. We agreed that we should throw it open to all the readers of AVC to make sure we are talking about the most important issues. So, if you were coming to see this talk, what do you think we should talk about and what do you think the Internet means for Radio?

Answers in the comments please.

#My Music#Web/Tech

Mobile Audio

There's a reason why radio and outdoor (billboard) advertising together became a $30bn to $50bn annual domestic market. When people are mobile, like driving a car, they are not reading, they are not watching video, they are not opening email. At least they should not be doing those sorts of things while driving a car.

While radio and billboards will still be attractive advertising opportunities for some time to come, there is a new way to reach the mobile consumer – on his or her phone.

I'm not talking about calling you or text messaging you on your phone. I am talking about when you connect your android phone into your car's audio jack or when you put on your iPhone headphones and hop on the treadmill at the gym.

In these situations, you are likely listening to audio and increasingly streaming audio. That audio stream can contain commercial messaging if it is done right. And because the phone, as opposed to the car radio or the billboard, knows a lot about you, including where you are, the messaging can be targeted (ie made relevant).

This is the opportunity our portfolio company TargetSpot was built to go after. When the company was started, it decided to focus on terrestrial radio companies and help them monetize their internet streams. It is the leader in that market today. Then it added "pure play internet radio" providers like Yahoo! Music, MySpace Music, and AOL Radio to it's network and further solidified its lead.

And today, TargetSpot is rolling out its first mobile audio advertising service, in partnership with Slacker. If you want to reach people who are listening to streaming audio via their phones in their cars, in the gym, at work, and at home you now can do that via TargetSpot.

Slacker is one of several streaming audio companies focused on the mobile phone. Others include Pandora and I expect we'll see hundreds of providers over time.

And I expect that we'll find out that the audio format is one of the most powerful forms of mobile advertising. Just like it has been in the offline world for the past century.

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#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