Sponsors' Next Act

It’s what radio listeners have always wished for — no more commercials.

KZPS-FM in Dallas recently eliminated all 30- and 60-second ads in favor of a sponsorship/product placement model. Now, marketers can sponsor hours of programming on the Clear Channel station and, during this block of time, the DJs will integrate the advertising message into their normal radio banter. The station claims that this experiment in sponsor integration will account for two minutes of airtime per hour rather than the 12 to 16 minutes of commercial time that most stations devote to pure advertising.

So far, companies such as Southwest Airlines, AT&T, Guitar Center and Coors Brewing have bought into the idea and have not only obtained category exclusivity throughout their “sponsored hour” but also throughout the day.

Station executives believe that it will take some time to know how listeners will receive the new approach.

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