TargetSpot: The Spot Runner of Radio

A new ad serving technology for Internet broadcasters launched this week with funding from Union Square Ventures, CBS Radio and Oddcast. Known as TargetSpot, the technology will allow advertisers to create buy and place their own advertising in online streaming audio outlets.

This will include a customizable menu of audio, video, banner and text ads. In this way, the model is very similar to Spot Runner, and it could likewise lower the barrier to create a rich ad using an automated system for production and spot buying.

It’s not a pure equivalent to Spot Runner though, because it only handles Internet radio (terrestrial is likely to come in the future once the model proves itself online). Spot Runner conversely resells cable spots, while online video is likely to come in the future once the medium grows and becomes a more worthwhile venue.

The move to terrestrial radio for TargetSpot might be made easier, given that one of its major investors is CBS Radio. The investment has clear strategic drivers as, for now, the radio outfit will use TargetSpot’s technology across its 100-plus online radio stations. These include music, talk, sports and news radio.

Ads can be targeted to these genres as well as specific demographics, geographies or radio properties. Campaign costs will vary, according to the press release, with ad revenues being shared between TargetSpot and the broadcaster.

This seems like a good idea that has a great deal of potential traction among advertisers. In this way, it joins Bid4Spots as a company trying to bring radio ad inventory to a larger market. And like Spot Runner, it could lower the barriers to a form of advertising and bring in a whole new segment of marketers to the medium.

Could is the operative word. The investment from CBS (and resulting distribution partnerships) will position it well to do this, as will the leadership and online marketing experience of Doug Perlson (formerly of Kanoodle). We’ll see how well it catches on with advertisers. Meanwhile, Google’s offline radio efforts loom in the background.

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