Hear This: Ando Media Seeks MRC Nod
In another sign that Web-based radio has gone mainstream, Ando Media said it's submitting its Webcast Metrics service to the Media Rating Council for accreditation.
Ando Media claims it already handles measurement of Internet radio for over 6,500 clients through Webcast Metrics, using a combination of server- and client-side data, with additional capabilities like impression reporting for royalty purposes.
It is an interesting hybrid, in that it also provides services like inserting audio, video and display ads in both streaming media and downloaded content like podcasts -- making it a distribution platform as well as a measurement specialist. These latter capabilities were augmented by last month's merger with Spacial Audio, which focuses on automation, ad insertion and related services for mostly pure-play online radio sites.
The MRC is a quasi-official organization formed at the behest of Congress to vet media ratings as an industry-supported alternative to direct government regulation. It is funded by contributions from media companies, which agree to use MRC accreditation as a minimum standard for a new ratings system.
The MRC doesn't reveal any details about its deliberations -- except to confirm when a methodology has received accreditation.
Paul Krasinski, Ando's chief operating officer, said: "Accreditation will not only validate our metrics, but it will give the Internet audio industry a measurement standard that's been validated at the very highest level.
["Ando's] participation in the audit and accreditation process demonstrates its leadership in bringing greater transparency and accountability to this emerging media space," added George Ivie, the executive director of the MRC.
Pure-play online radio sites and traditional broadcasters alike are hoping for big growth in digital ad revenues as the economy begins to recover. So far, digital ad revenue has remained a small part of total revenues. According to ZenithOptimedia, Internet radio will attract about $288 million of ad spending in 2009 -- or just 2% of radio's total projected revenues this year.