MyRadio to Help Marketers Tune In 'Streamies'

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NextAudio will initiate the soft launch of its MyRadio business-to-business product later this month. This turnkey, private-label Internet radio service will allow Web sites, portals and ISPs to offer online music while also targeting ads to consumers.


MyRadio is a downloadable Internet radio player that typically sits on a user's desktop and can be branded in accordance with a client site's identity.


Internet Radio has become increasingly more popular of late as sites such as Spinner.com, SonicNet.com and Live365.com continue to pull in throngs of online listeners otherwise known as "streamies." Sixty-three percent of consumers with multimedia PCs in their homes now listen to Internet radio compared to 33 percent in early 1999, according to the eBrain, Arlington, VA


This segment is especially attractive to online marketers considering 79 percent of online radio listeners are likely to visit a site advertised on their favorite station and 60 percent have made a purchase on the Web, according to an Arbitron Internet Services/Edison Media Research Internet study.


"Streamies are much more likely to have purchased form an Internet Web site compared to the 36 percent of people online who haven't listened, but have made a purchase," said Bill Rose, vice president/general manager of Arbitron Internet Services, New York.


This number may go up for MyRadio clients as this service collects demographic data to establish a profile in order to better target audio ads played in between sets of songs. Basic demographic information is collected at registration while more specific information is drawn from consumers as they continue to use the service.


This is what may separate Internet radio usage from that of established broadcast radio, according to Rose.


"This provides more targeting and less tune out," he said. "People will, in fact, listen to ads provided they speak to things they are interested in. The things that tick listeners off are ads that are not relevant to what they're buying or their lifestyle."


To keep consumers coming back, MyRadio asks the user to rate the music. When the users signs on again it selects other music that the listener will most likely want to hear.


"It tracks that information and gets better and better at predicting the type of music you like," said Jeff Williams, CEO of NextAudio, Research Triangle Park, NC.


For its official launch at the end of May and into the summer months, NextAudio will market MyRadio at Internet and recording industry trade shows as well as in trade journals. It is also planning on launching banner advertisements, print and direct mail campaigns. Co-marketing deals with client companies to promote the product are also likely, according to Williams.


The cost for the service is derived from a revenue sharing agreement that varies according the number of users.
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