John Rosso is President, Market Development for Triton Digital. He is one of four panelists on next week’s Advertising Week session, Internet Radio is Bigger than Facebook!? What it Means for Marketers. Below, John discusses his early career at ABC where he was on a team that was among the first to put media on Internet and how things have changed over the years.
How did you wind up working in the Internet radio/streaming audio industry?
I was an engineer at ABC in the mid 1990’s. At that time, we began experimenting with putting some ABC News feeds online. I loved the idea of being able to listen to whatever you want regardless of geography. I also liked the incremental revenue opportunity that streaming offered. A few years later we began streaming the ABC owned radio stations and watched the audience take off. I was the head of digital for ABC Radio for a time. Then I became President of the ABC Radio Networks (later known as Citadel Media). When we sold the company to Cumulus, I decided to leave and pursue a full-on digital opportunity with Triton.
What surprised you most when you first started working with advertisers?
How poorly understood the online audio medium is – particularly what differentiates it from other forms of digital media. Sure, audio has some technical limitations vs display. But at the same time, audio is a much more effective and less ignored ad type. We have great awareness, but buyer education is paramount.
How have radio/audio advertisers changed in recent years? If so, how?
They haven’t changed much. Radio buyers now add streaming to their buys – but it is mostly “radio on the internet” and does not take advantage of digital’s capabilities. At the same time, Digital buyers are moving into audio and expecting to use CTR as a KPI. Wow.
How is mobile changing advertiser objectives and approaches to campaigns and media buying?
People buy mobile because it is ubiquitous and because they believe in recency theory – the same reason why radio has been bought for all these decades. That is, market to the consumer as close to the point of transaction as possible. The change is (or should be) in the type of creative execution that works. Mobile is very different from desktop. Desktop display tactics don’t work.
What do you think are the most important trends in broadcast and Internet radio today?
The most important trend is the rapid adoption of ad-supported streaming music services by listeners. The advertisers are following and audio is becoming a truly digital ad unit for the first time.
What do you think will be different about advertiser perspectives on Internet radio / streaming services five years from now?
Audio will be a much larger component of digital media plans. It is the perfect ad unit for a mobile audience.
Join Us at Advertising Week – If Internet Radio is Bigger than Facebook, How Can Advertisers Make the Most of It?
Internet Radio is Bigger than Facebook. Look at the Data.
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