Streaming’s Profit Potential on Trial
audio streams should be real money-makers for broadcasters, because their
listeners are the station’s most loyal fans — or so goes the logic.
Bricketto, Beasley Broadcast Group vice president of interactive, equates this
kind of listener to a diehard football fan.
“(They) are the 70,000 people who reach into
their pockets to buy season tickets,” Bricketto said. To not market to these faithful
listeners, she said, “directly is akin to the Miami Dolphins releasing a Dan
Marino retro team jersey, and not marketing to fans inside the Sun Life Stadium
at game time.”
promises of enormous potential, however, radio stations are finding it hard to
sell ad space on their audio streams.
Theodore, Internet Advertising Bureau’s vice president of training and
development, will moderate a session at the fall Radio Show on Sept. 19 called
“Digital Autopsy: What’s Hot and What’s Not,” exploring various digital
said advertisers don’t always feel confident that they’ll get a full return for
what they pay.
broadcasting has always been a medium that is over-indexed, yet underspent on
ad dollars,” Theodore said. “This is even more true with radio audio streams.
Advertisers often feel they don’t have the measurements they demand to justify
putting money into radio streams — even though the listenership and the value are
with Bricketto the digital panel will feature Tripp Eldredge, president and CEO
of dmr; Deb Esayian, Emmis Interactive co-president; and James Bottorff,
Bonneville Seattle’s director of digital media.
stations offer rebroadcasts of their on-air content, Bricketto again emphasizes
how committed listeners must be to seek out the audio-on-demand repeats and
Web-only audio features available on station websites.
are like people who are repeat customers at a car dealership,” she said. “They
are not just customers. These are people who have made your product a part of
Such people are “the 10 percent who drive
nearly half of your listening,” said Eldredge. “They likely belong to your
station’s Facebook page and promote you to their friends and family. These are
your most loyal fans, and their loyalty is a unique value to advertisers. These
are the consumers who will actively choose products that are sold on your
station, to show their support for you.”
if streaming listeners are uniquely valuable to a station, the task is not just
to convince advertisers to start selling, but also to educate radio managers on
how to sell.
way to make this point is by highlighting the value of local radio as an
“The endorsement made to loyal listeners by
on-air staff is one of the earliest forms of social networking,” said
Bricketto. The power of such endorsements over radio streams is magnified,
because the on-air talent essentially is preaching to the choir.
your sales rep goes out to sell your audio streams, the last thing he or she
should do is make them a free add-on to over-the-air advertising, Bricketto
said. “Streaming offers real value to advertisers, and that value should and
can be monetized.”
session will delve into other digital possibilities and difficulties for radio
broadcasters, not just streaming.
Theodore said one of those possibilities is having brands sponsor specific parts
of the streaming website, as exemplified by the website of Spotify. “Radio stations
should emphasize the value of audio streams in terms of the quality of
listeners reached, rather than the click-through rates achieved,” he said.
also points to Clear Channel’s success with its iHeartRadio.com content
aggregation site, a force to reckon with in the growing digital market.
“Broadcasters will have to decide whether to go head-to-head with this 800-pound
gorilla on their own, or to team up with other broadcasters in order to compete.”
is thinking about targeted selectivity toward audience members, and what this
could mean in the future of broadcast. “In the analog broadcast world where
numbers were everything, all listeners were essentially the same,” he said.
“But in the digital world, we can really identify and find the very people our
advertisers are trying to reach — and as a result we can deliver a much better
result to them.”
for Bricketto, she’s focused on realizing the money-making potential of
streamed radio audio, and helping broadcasters to profit right now. “Going
forward, training is key for all sales managers,” Bricketto said. “Streaming
audio is a powerful medium, a fifth daypart that all broadcasters need to
believe in and turn to their advantage.”