Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Radio Ad Times

eBay has said it would begin selling radio airtime to advertisers this week through a partnership with Bid4Spots. It will offer advertisers a way to buy unsold radio ad slots from 2,300 radio stations in the top 300 media markets in the United States. Advertisers can buy airtime on the eBay Media Marketplace, which was originally a cable television ad forum which began in March.

The eBay ad exchange has been disappointing so far but it is hoped that widening its remit to radio will reverse this. Bid4Spots works as a so-called reverse auction with advertisers who join designating what they are willing to pay for a spot, then radio stations with the available airtime make offers to win their business.

Google, paid $1.24 billion to acquire dMarc Broadcasting, a rival to Bid4Spots and in April, it did a deal with Clwear Channel to sell ads across the company’s 675 stations through its AdSense platform.

The interesting issue is whether the opportunity to effectively auction and buy radio slots will move advertisers to radio away from other sectors. Radio is potentially a great way to promote books!