Harris Tests 'ZoneCasting' For Radio

Radio-AAA4Harris Corp. has partnered with Geo-Broadcast Solutions to introduce a new broadcast radio product that can target audiences more precisely, down to the neighborhood level.

The “ZoneCasting” technology allows radio advertisers to deliver ad messages to many specific, defined zones across a single broadcast market, offering an extra level of geographic precision that could help attract more local businesses to radio.
 
ZoneCasting, created by GBS and supplied exclusively by Harris, will undergo its first commercial test this fall at WRMF-FM, serving Miami-Ft. Lauderdale and southeast Florida. The system relies on a network of low-power FM transmitters and simulcasting technology to deliver varying content to hyper-local target areas in a synchronized fashion.
 
Harris and GBS say ZoneCasting’s precision will help radio compete with digital media, by offering improved targeting while also increasing affordability for smaller businesses.

Richard Redmond, vice president of product management and strategy, transmission systems for Harris Broadcast Communications, stated: “This is not about investing in a new studio or transmitter with the hopes it will improve ratings or revenue. This is about helping broadcasters become more competitive against a fractured marketplace.”
 
Radio advertising could use a shot in the arm. Total radio advertising revenues increased a modest 1% in the first half of 2012, to a total $7.89 billion, according to the Radio Advertising Bureau. This is due, in large part, to slow growth in spot, long the mainstay of radio advertising, which was flat in the first half of the year.

Anything that spurs local advertiser interest in radio would help raise spot revenues.

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