Now RTB Also Stands For Radio Time Bidding
by Joe Mandese, Mar 26, 2013, 7:53 PM
Programmatic media-buying may be dominated by online display, but it’s starting to gain traction as an efficient -- and effective -- way of trading other media, even some of the most old school options. And there’s nothing more old school on Madison Avenue than radio, right? Not so, according to Triton Digital, the private equity-backed radio tech firm, which has already cut deals with WPP’s Xaxis and CBS to begin trading radio inventory on its a2x programmatic buying platform. Tomorrow it will announce that it has also signed up Entercom Communications too. Okay, so they’ve unofficially announced it here in RTBlog, but scoops aside, the news is important for several reasons. One is that Entercom is one of the largest operators of radio stations (more than 100) in the country, with representation in 23 markets, including San Francisco, Boston, Seattle, etc. And coupled with CBS, it will give media buyers and trading desks some real scale to work with.
The deal is interesting for another reason, the Xaxis connection. Xaxis, of course, has been pushing the envelope of programmatic trading into other media, and recently, announced deals with Vistar to begin using its platform to buy out-of-home media. As is the cases with out-of-home, the Triton inventory initially will include only digital radio stations, streamed online and to mobile devices, mainly because it’s still not feasible to target and serve ads to discrete users on terrestrial radio. But I wouldn’t be surprised if somebody comes up with a way to do even that soon.
I mean, most of the trading desks I’ve been speaking to say they are close to, or already making TV audience buys via some form of RTB, so can terrestrial radio be far behind?