The Internet might eventually kill traditional broadcast radio, but marketers at neighborhood stores, as well as large companies like Nike and Lexus, now have tools to create a branded-Internet radio station, augment with topic-specific interviews, and subsidize airtime with jingles and four minutes of ads through Radionomy.
It turns out that Europe-based Radionomy, which built a platform allowing anyone to create and program their own Internet radio station with licensed music from well-known artists, enters the U.S. market this week after attracting more than 13 million listeners in other parts of the world.
Unlike Pandora, humans program the content monetized with ads -- about four minutes per hour. The number of radio station listeners determines the monthly income generated by ads sold on a CPM basis. Thierry Ascarez, vice president of business development at Radionomy, says some stations might have more than 500,000 listening hours per month based on a $5 CPM. "It's a Google AdSense for audio," he says.
Helping to gain listeners to generate revenue, Radionomy built in social features, such as embedded players for Facebook and the ability to build a basic Web site to support the player and station. Listeners can share stations and music on Twitter and Facebook.
In other parts of the world, Radionomy supports more than 6,000 stations and 92 million listening sessions monthly; 42 million hours of streamed music each month; and 50 new Radionomy stations created each day
A version available in Europe, but not yet in the United States, allows brands to build their own radio campaign in five steps. Radio station producers can bring advertisers to the Radionomy platform. In the U.S., programmers pick from a list of prerecorded ads. The platform targets ads to listeners based on demographic and geographic location, based on the devices' Internet protocol address and other signals. A New York-based ad house sells the ads. Companies like Netflix and Walgreens have recently signed advertising agreement.
Standards built into the software follow traditional broadcast radio rules. The tools built on the G2 platform, a new version of the service, offers custom options through Radio Manager, a Web-based dashboard centralizing functions needed to run an online station; Planner to assist producers create and manage their station; and new versions in iTunes for iPad and iPhone, as well as Facebook apps. A new version of the Android app and a desktop app will be available in November 2012. The feature will become available in cars with Internet access via directories like TuneIn.
Ascarez said Radionomy works with traditional broadcasters in Europe because they view the technology as a gateway to increase listening audiences through a search engine and directory of music stations.