There is plenty of money to be made in radio advertising, but most of it is tied up in terrestrial (aka traditional) radio stations rather than digital music services. A large part of that has to do with digital services having no standards for how to measure local audience metrics.
Fortunately Triton Digital, the company responsible for providing the industry standard for digital audio measurement, recently scored a huge win for digital radio services looking to boost revenue from local ad sales. Today the company announced that its Webcast Metrics Local product (which tracks local audience data) received accreditation from the Media Ratings Council.
Why is this important? Well, it means that advertisers now have an accredited “apples-to-apples” way of easily comparing local digital audiences, regardless of the music service. It also helps advertisers compare terrestrial and digital local audience metrics side by side — and over time, digital radio could see a huge influx of local ad revenue.
“What this does is give our clients a seat at the big boy’s table, which is the $17 billion terrestrial advertising industry,” said Triton chief strategy officer Patrick Reynolds in an interview with VentureBeat. “Clients like Pandora now have an equal opportunity to compete for the same advertisers that buy local advertising on terrestrial stations.”
Reynolds explained that the WCML product, which launched about two years ago, uses the same terminology and tracks the same metrics — Average Quarter Hour (AQH), AQH Rating, Cume, and Cume Rating — as the terrestrial ad industry. These metrics help advertisers target specific markets more easily.
The first of Triton’s clients to gain the new WCML accreditation is Pandora, unsurprisingly. As VentureBeat has pointed out in the past, Pandora’s business strategy is focused on hiring a large team of sales reps to grab local advertising revenue away from the billion dollar terrestrial ad industry. Pandora had to undergo a “rigorous audit” for its user-declared geographic and demographic listener data.
And Pandora isn’t the only company that sees the potential this may bring to digital radio advertising. Some of Triton’s other big clients are also going through the accreditation process, although Reynolds declined to name any specific services.