Radio Evolution: Target Spot


According to Justin Moresco at Red Herring, Target Spot is proving to be an investor’s delight:

Online radio ad network TargetSpot closed an $8.6 million second round of venture financing led by Bain Capital Ventures.

The New York City company, launched in 2007, plans on using the infusion of capital to expand its engineering and sales teams. Like most advertising networks, Target Spot specializes in bringing advertisers together with broadcasters that have available airtime. What seems to make this company more innovative and attractive to investors is the fact that it puts ad development directly in the hands of the advertisers:

TargetSpot, founded in 2007, hopes to build up its pool of advertisers by offering free and “easy-to-use” ad creation tools. This could be attractive to smaller businesses that don’t have the resources to pay professional studios to create ads. The ad network’s clients can record ads directly from their computers using an ordinary microphone, according to the company’s web site.

Since its launch last year, TargetSpot has worked with Internet-only stations as well as traditional radio stations, such as CBS Radio and Entercom Communicatioins Corp, which stream content over the Internet as well as over the air.

In addition to the company’s online ad development tools, it has a unique slant on selling airtime/streamtime: online auctioning. Target Spot includes an online bidding platform that allows advertisers of all stripes to bid for airtime on the various stations involved, an approach which should result in an overall increase in revenues for the stations.

Once again, we see a fresh new company stepping up to the plate, a company that is evolving its approach in order to embrace the Janus-like duality of broadcast radio as it reaches out to the internet audience.

Source: “More Funding For Online Radio Ads” 03/12/08
Source: Target Spot Official Website
Photo is a screencapture of the Target Spot Website


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4 Responses to “Radio Evolution: Target Spot”

  1. Brent Walker Says:

    Some of us were around advertising when Pagemaker came out in the 80’s. Wow! We could create our own ads. Oh the freedom–oh the low cost!! The results were absolutely horrible.

    A web company that allows people to create their own radio ads at their computer will result in radio -either broadcast or streaming- that is simply unlistenable. Any radio station that accepts homemade advertising is bordering on suicidal.

    Radio is the most misunderstood medium in the whole media spectrum. Great Radio advertising is an art. Even if advertisers hire an off-duty weekend disk jockey to produce their spot, they should leave it to someone with a modicum of knowledge about the medium. Otherwise, they risk destroying their brand, and the radio station it rode in on.

  2. George Williams Says:

    Hey Brent, thanks for sharing your view of things. I gather you have been in the ad industry for awhile and I appreciate your perspective.

    I have no real input on the “user generated advertising” at least as far as quality is concerned. My take on things was purely addressing the innovation of providing both a means of developing said content and the auction approach to selling the air time. As a blogger and a social networking specialist I do have a soft spot for DIY projects, but I also appreciate the need for a Pro in many circumstances. I have seen a lot of amazing content generated by non-professionals, I have also seen some real dross. It will be very interesting watching this service evolve over time.

    Thanks again for stopping by and contributing your thoughts, hopefully we will see more of you over here in the future!

  3. Ron Says:

    my understanding is that they have the ability to produce spots for small advertisers and aren’t working exclusively with traditional broadcast radio stations.

    let’s face it, radio as an industry is dying and it needs companies like this to keep it out of the grave.

  4. George Williams Says:


    I just checked the TargetSpot site and it only shows 8 out of 413 stations as being web-only, so they are not exclusively working with traditional broadcast but it is by far the vast majority of their business.

    I disagree with you about the death of radio, which should hardly come as a surprise since I write this blog. It is not dying so much as evolving. Change is often scary and chaotic, and the introduction of new ways to delivery what was formerly broadcast only programming (i.e. internet based radio, podcasts, satellite radio, etc.) makes it easy to ignore the longevity of radio and the need for information sources that are not paid subscriptions or internet only.

    I appreciate both your stopping by to read this and your taking the time to comment. I hope that you will continue to contribute to the ongoing discussion here and allow us the opportunity to change your mind.

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