Communicorp in Bid to Earn Revenue from Mobile Audience
Today FM and Newstalk parent Communicorp is bidding to make money from its mobile audience, partnering with Adforce. com to serve targeted ads to people listening to radio on their smartphones. The move enables Communicorp to earn revenues from the live and on-demand streaming of its Irish radio stations, which also include Spin 1038, Spin SouthWest and 98FM.
Adforce.com will sell digital audio advertising on behalf of the Denis O’Brien-owned company, using pre-roll and in-stream ad formats operated by audio technology provider Triton Digital.
“Audio is becoming the next new ad format for digital. Up to now, radio stations haven’t really been able to make money from streaming, it is just something they have had to do,” said Adforce.com chief executive Colm Grealy.
The audio ads will be “swapped in” for the ads that are broadcast on FM radio, he said. “The targeting on it can be as sophisticated as you want.”
Ads served may vary according to region, with listeners in Dublin hearing a different ad than listeners in Cork. “Or if you are listening to sport, you might be served a sports-related ad.”
Deborah Carpenter, Communicorp’s head of solutions and insights, said the collaboration with Adforce was “a first for the radio industry” in Ireland.
“Radio has always been a high-engagement medium and digital audio takes this to a new level because of the customisation and control it offers.”
Digital listening habits are being driven by smartphone adoption, 4G networks and unlimited data packages, while digital listening in cars, via dashboard apps, is set to spur even further growth in consumption, threatening to cannibalise traditional FM.
“Everyone underestimated the shift from live television to video streaming. That shift is now happening to radio,” Mr Grealy said.
Audio ads can be delivered in sync with companion display ads that pop up on the device, allowing a brand message to be simultaneously seen and heard. Ads will also make more use of mobile functionality such as GPS and messaging.
Consumers who are served ads for retailers may be invited to give the audio command “send me a coupon” in order to receive a discount offer in their inboxes. Other audio commands suggested by advertisers could include “find my nearest store” or “add to calendar”.