Radio’s Other BIG Web Opportunity

The pot of gold radio is chasing with its digital assets is forecast to hit $35.2 billion this year.  But that’s only the advertising piece of the local online marketplace. Borrell Associates data shows there’s a much larger opportunity beyond just selling banner ads and streaming audio and video.


The bigger digital prize, Borrell says, is in providing digital services to local businesses.   Local businesses will pay $260 billion this year to vendors to manage their online presence, according to Borrell.  “That’s where the money is,” CEO Gordon Borrell said during a recent webinar.  In fact, local businesses spend 10-times more on digital services than they do on digital advertising. “Digital advertising is really just a thin slice of everything spent by local businesses on digital marketing,” Borrell says.


Although Borrell identified 18 types of digital services, just four account for three fourths of all digital services spending for companies with less than 250 employees.  They’re what the company describes as the “digital basics:” web hosting, online agency/exchange fees (money collected for selling advertising on someone else’s site), Search Engine Optimization and web design and maintenance.  “As you’re prospecting, the smaller the business, the more likely they are to spend almost all of their money in those four categories,” Borrell says.


Although some radio companies have reported solid gains from selling social media and email management services, Borrell found there isn’t much money in those categories — each represents only 0.2% of the digital services spend. Others, such as South Central Communications, have found success going beyond selling just the “digital basics” into areas like website development.  “It’s not very profitable but they believe it’s a gateway product for getting more business,” Borrell says.


A growing number of radio companies are tapping into digital services as a new revenue stream, including Entercom, Hubbard Radio, NextMedia and Beasley Broadcast Group.   A January survey conducted by Borrell for the Radio Advertising Bureau found one out of three stations is selling digital services.  In some cases, companies have found that selling digital services produces higher margins than ad sales do.  The dominant category in what’s expected to total $260 billion in digital services spending this year is general merchandise stores.  The category, which includes department stores, big box retailers, warehouse club stores and country general stores, spends four times as much as the No. 2 category, which is all other business locations.


Other significant spenders include schools, employment services, hospitals and restaurants.   But Gordon Borrell cautions against prospecting “the smallest of the smalls.”  Local businesses that employ fewer than 10 people, such as locksmiths, barber shops and RV dealers, are ones to steer clear of, he says. Packaging up digital services for clients is said to be an important part of a successful digital services strategy.  “The real lesson is this isn’t sold in piecemeal,” Borrell says. “It is all bundled.”

Source of information from

Our Mobile Apps Are Here… So What’s Next?

It has been 9 months since we purchased a local radio mobile application developer and launched our Mersoft Media division. We have devoted countless hours to developing a unique application that has capabilities that no other radio mobile application in the market can do. (Call us to learn how this is so)


With our iPhone platform only having been complete for about 6 weeks, we have signed many clients, including a major network radio client (details coming soon). But now that we are beginning to gain some traction in the market, many are asking us what is next to come, and how can we improve our product or service.


We have a long list of capabilities on our technology roadmap, but for the next 90 days, here is what our clients can expect:


Advertising Capabilities: Many developers make the mistake of ASSUMING they know what works, and what is in the best interests of their clients without doing their homework first. Your radio station is in the business of growing audience and ultimately selling to that loyal audience. But diluting your product with tacky ads from the onset isn’t in your best interest.
We are tackling this issue from a different perspective; by launching many applications, and studying the user’s behavior inside of those applications. Looking at behaviors such as: what pages do they visit? how long do they land on a page? what features do they select? how often do they press play? how often do they come back to the app? how long is the app in the foreground? etc.


Knowing this information will give us the insight necessary into creating the most effective ad capabilities, while using the premium real estate on the application. We have some crazy cool ideas for sponsorship capabilities that will blow your audiences’ minds, and have them asking, “How did they do that?”


Types of ads can include: start up screen ad, sponsorships, audio/video pre rolls, pop ups, background ads, rotating banners, ads that flip, jump, scroll, and who knows… maybe an ad that may just put dollars in your pocket! 🙂


App Cross Promotion: Very few groups that we work with represent a single station, but rather many stations. We have created a way to launch any application that is in the app store from the existing radio station app, so that you can have each station’s app include one-touch access to launch your other station’s apps. Studies show that with cross promotion, usage can increase across all digital streams by up to 30%… more usage means more dollars.


Take a look at Yahoo’s app properties for example. Every single one of them has one-touch access to other properties that Yahoo owns. And we give you the same capabilities.


We are excited to show you what we have in store. To learn more about how we can help you grow your brand and bottom line, give us a ring at 913-871-6200. And be sure to go into your app store and search for “Mersoft Media Talk Radio” to download a demo application.