Kagan Summit: Internet Radio Ad Sales Soar


The Internet is one of the top new frontiers for radio, an arena that has the power to multiply the reach of traditional broadcast in amazing ways. Now that we are firmly entrenched in 2009 that reach is getting illustrated in a very practical way: ad sales.

Jeffrey Yorke, who covers radio for Mediaweek, filed this report from the Kagan Radio/TV Financial Summit:

“Advertisers are embracing online radio faster than anyone ever thought they would,” TargetSpot CEO Doug Perlson told a Kagan Summit panel session on Wednesday (April 1, 2009).

The Kagan Summit has been briefing investors on the radio industry for over 25 years. The Kagan Summit, run by the SNL Center for Financial Education,  provides “the industry’s most objective look at the financial prospects for the broadcast sector.”

Jeff Haly, CEO of the Radio Advertising Bureau, told Yorke “revenue for Internet radio was up 28 percent in January and 12 percent in February for a year-to-date average of 17.5 percent.” Those are the kind of numbers that make me smile.

One of the factors driving these sales is not just the phenomenal reach of online radio, but the fact that more specific audiences can be targeted:

“The ability to respond to an ad immediately makes local advertising very appealing because you can target-specific ZIP codes and demographics.” […]

“Digital media offers a deeper, more personal relationship with a community (those users interested in a specific area or thing),” said Richard Kosinski, who left Yahoo! last year to become senior vp and chief digital officer for Westwood One. “Advertisers are willing to pay more money to reach their targeted audiences. And they are talking to marketing managers and telling them they want very specific metrics.”

As we all know, reaching a small number of highly interested listeners with pertinent info is far more effective than reaching large numbers with a less direct correlation of interests. In the Internet age, listeners have come to expect their media to speak to their needs and interests more than ever before. Engagement on this level is incredibly important, and becoming more so every day.

What efforts have you and your station been taking to engage listeners more directly on the Internet? Have your results mirrored the growth in advertising mentioned above?

Photo courtesy of jurvetson used under its Creative Commons license.


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