Radio stations looking for a new source of digital revenue and new ways to deepen local listener engagement may be interested to learn more about a technology now in development. Sheridan Broadcasting Corporation’s general counsel and radio division president Ron Davenport, Jr. has been briefing us over the past couple months on his expanding vision to help broadcast radio stations develop a new type of digital ad inventory. Sheridan owns 3 radio stations and 2 radio networks including majority ownership of American Urban Radio Networks, an African American oriented network serving over 20 million listeners each week. Broadcasters like Sheridan would be able to leverage both their local over-the-air signals with the power of Internet video. The patented technology allows listeners to have a video experience that is tied directly to the radio programming and advertising to create deeper real-time engagement .
The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office issued a patent to Davenport in October 2013 for a “Wired Internet Network System for the Internet Video Streams of Radio Stations.” Since then, he’s been working with SurferNetwork engaging in testing and concept development while trying to raise industry interest in supporting this idea for how to add new video advertising inventory that is synchronized to the radio station listening experience. As Davenport puts it, “You can double 12 minutes of radio ad inventory into 24 minutes of inventory with ad replacement technology by adding video that is synchronized to the airplay across any Internet connected device.”
One example he pointed out to us when he partnered with C360 Technologies, Inc. and the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra to allow radio listeners enjoying a performance to simultaneously view the performance via Internet connections and devices with the added user engagement feature of having 360 degree camera controls to pan around the orchestra. That makes the listening experience more fun and that type of technology can also be applied to commercials and other sponsored content.
We’ve talked about different ways radio broadcasters can leverage their large and often quite loyal audiences over-the-air with synchronized audio technologies such as what Xapp Media is doing. MediaSynced, active in the U.S. and Europe, is another company that offers ways to sync real-time TV and radio with online campaigns. In MediaSynced’s 100 or so campaign deployments with brands like Renault and Sony, the analytics have been encouraging. MediaSync reports CTR increased 113% for Renault with 5.7 million unique impressions and CTR increased 210% for Sony with 3.6 million impressions. Other campaigns showed significantly decreased Costs per Lead, 37% less as compared to a similar RTB programmatic display campaign.
The message Sheridan’s Davenport is trying to bring to the radio industry is an important one and adds generally to the potential digital arsenal radio broadcasters can use to generate significant value by leveraging their valuable over-the-air assets with compelling new Internet technologies tied specifically to that asset.