Internet Radio, the Next Big Think in Online Advertising?

radio-ad-spendingInternet radio might not be the most impressive in terms of audience, but this particular digital medium is catching the eye of marketers. According to a recent eMarketer report, internet radio is bound to gain more ground in the next years and also attract more advertising dollars as marketers discover its particular appeal.

Newly released report “Internet Radio: Marketers Move In” shows that users are tuning in to internet radio stations more and more and from a varied range of devices – PCs, smartphones and tablets, automobiles, connected-home appliances and other gadgets. Monetized primarily by advertising, a less popular digital advertising medium and growing at a more modest rate than other online channels, internet radio is still getting more attention and more marketing dollars. The main reasons are the opportunity to associate brands with a particular artist or music genre and the fact that in-stream audio ads are a lot harder to avoid or skip.

This year, eMarketer forecasts that the number of US internet radio listeners will grow by a little over 11% to almost 148 million. This type of audience will continue to grow over the next several years, but at slower rates. At the same time, internet radio ad spending will reach $970 million in the US in 2013 and it is expected to grow to over 1.30 billion by 2016.

Internet radio will continue to grow, but so will the monetization challenges for this type of streaming service. Licensing costs are high as it is for the services allowing them to broadcast music and they may grow as contracts are renewed and laws cease to apply. To counter the adversities, internet radio services will have to make constant efforts to grow their audience and find new ways to stay relevant to marketers through new ideas for collaborations.

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