Jelli, a programmatic ad platform for radio, and radio ad software provider Marketron are partnering up on an automated supply-side service for radio stations, the companies said Thursday.
“Billions of dollars in radio inventory are still being traded in an analog way,” said Marketron CEO Jeff Haley. “We’re taking the innovation that happened on the digital space, translating into a traditional platform and driving efficiency and value to advertisers.”
Jelli offers a cloud-based ad server called RadioSpot that lets advertisers programmatically buy inventory from broadcast radio stations. Marketron offers account management and reporting capabilities through its Mediascape platform.
Through the partnership, Marketron will integrate Jelli’s ad server into Mediascape, allowing Mediascape users to automate the planning, pricing, packaging and selling of radio inventory.
The new service will be launched in Q3 this year and Haley speculated 2,000 radio stations would participate in the service by the end of 2014. There are roughly 15,000 commercial radio stations in the US, according to the FCC.
“What’s exciting about this,” said Jelli CEO Mike Dougherty, “is that radio stations will be able to participate in the big surge for programmatic buying that is happening across advertising.”
The service will include real-time reporting on the campaigns, but the inventory will only be available through a fixed-price model. The radio broadcast industry has yet to embrace the concept of real-time bidding, noted Dougherty.
In the race to grab a consumer’s attention through relevant ads, broadcast radio stations may find it increasingly difficult to pull in advertising dollars. Delivering personalized ads, for example, continues to be a challenge for traditional radio stations. In contrast, Internet streaming services like Pandora and Spotify offer a greater number of segmenting and targeting options.
By requiring users to log in, both digital music providers have demographic and behavioral information about their listeners that enables advertisers to target their ads according to individual preferences. WPP’s audience-buying unit, Xaxis, also launched Xaxis Radio last year through a partnership with Triton Digital, which lets advertisers buy targeted online and mobile radio inventory via RTB.