Prince? Meet Internet Radio

Mark Lipsky talks internet radio at DMA2010

In a recent issue of Bloomberg Businessweek, rock legend Prince was quoted from an interview with the Mirror on why he’s pulled his music from iTunes and YouTube and shut down his official website.
“The Internet’s completely over…(It’s) like MTV.  At one time MTV was hip, and suddenly it became outdated.”
No disrespect to the artist once again known as Prince (I dig his music), but I’m pretty sure he missed the call on this one.  Information sharing via the Internet has become an inextricable part of life in the 21st Century, especially the way we now discover, enjoy and collect music.
In addition to iTunes, YouTube and Facebook friend recommendations, Internet streams of terrestrial radio stations, Web-only stations and create-your-own-radio-station sites like Pandora and Slacker have exponentially increased our ability to tune in familiar and niche formats, ranging from stations devoted to the play of a single artist to eclectic combinations of every genre imaginable.
And that’s great news for advertisers.
Streaming radio stations add millions of commercial avails to the media buyer’s palette of marketing inventory.  Gross impressions are measurable, deliverable and accountable.  For dot-com retailers, an Internet radio listener is often a single mouse click away from a destination where he or she can make a purchase.  (On many Internet radio stations, that includes the chance to instantly purchase the song or CD that’s currently playing on those stations.  Are you listening, Prince?)
The major terrestrial networks and radio groups have dedicated sales forces able to bundle signals by format, geography or demographic.  So, for example, a regional auto parts store could make one phone call and buy streaming radio ads on dozens of Rock, Sports and other appropriate formats in a seven-city cluster of markets, complete with online banners and special “Click here for a special Web only offer!” incentives.
Better still, this new category of radio has been delivering solid, measurable results for those committed to fund their way past the minimal, media learning curve.  The right spending levels, offers and media choices can be tested and optimized in a matter of weeks, opening up a whole new channel for incremental sales and profitability.
Radio’s Digital Golden Age has arrived.  And consumers have embraced it with open arms.  I’m betting Prince will be back for a make-up hug before too long.

Mark Lipsky, President & CEO, Radio Direct Response

Join Mark Lipsky, Stephen Smith (Sirius XM Radio) and Michael Black (CBS Radio) for a one-hour panel presentation on “The New Radio” at DMA2010 on Tuesday, October 12th from 2:00-3:00 PM.

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