As more and more stations and broadcasters are beginning to realize, online listeners and visitors are not only used to seeing ads, but are in full acceptance of ads. According to Forbes Magazine, Amazon recently conducted their own survey of Kindle customers and came up with some not-so-surprising facts. Facts that are, indeed, of great interest to the world of e-commerce and online publishers. This is not new information to many, like myself, that are deeply involved with online streaming and the monetization thereof on a daily basis.
Let’s remember, that it is advertising that powers traditional radio, as well as print, television and any successful websites out there in the universe, with very few exceptions. Online listeners have come to accept advertising, and don’t mind the ads. Video pre-roll ads, and banner advertising has become the norm for most news, media and informational sites. Take a look at any radio station today that runs on the precious fuel from advertisers; why would we expect that online listening be any different? Sure, there will always be a minority of whiners, opposers, mis-understanders of e-commerce and the purists, but since when did the tail wag the dog?
People in general do not mind receiving ads if they feel they are getting something of value from the underlying product. Facebook is a great example of 700 million people worldwide using a free service, that simply requires them to view displayed advertisements. You don’t have to click on them if you don’t want to, but there are so many cool, engaging ads today, from video pre-rolls to rich-media ads, that many are actually entertaining, informative and useful, if you just so happen to be looking for a particular product or service.
Another very important factor brought out by Amazon, is that the ads need to be unobtrusive. Ads that fold down over the entire page you are trying to read, or pop-ups when you leave a site can be particularly annoying to many listeners. Our own studies have shown that by working with national and international advertisers, it can actually be a credibility boost for any publisher, especially smaller-market radio stations. By adding national advertisers to your ‘real estate’, you are going with the correct flow of where online marketing is headed. You are creating credibility and building revenue at the same time. If you are not monetizing your online streams, check out your competitors . . .they probably are.
The same goes for mobile listeners. AdMob, a Google company, delivers some of the most dynamic, interactive and engaging mobile ads out there. Many of the rich-media mobile ads are multi-dimensional, full of choices (remember . . . we love choices), and return you right back to the stream or player you were originally on. Mobile advertising and desktop advertising are growing by leaps and bounds, with the online listening audience front and center.
Don’t sit there any longer with old-school notions like, “I don’t run ads because my listeners think they are annoying”. It is counter-intuitive and to do so is like trying to swim upstream against a strong current. In this case, the current is ad revenue dollars and you need to embrace the facts. Facts and research continue to bolster not only the growth of online advertising, but the acceptance of your listeners. If you are not already using advertising to monetize your streaming listeners, you need to get onboard, or ‘get with the program’ as we used to say in the Marines!