Ad-ID announcement gets some questions


The Ad-ID initiative recently announced the “Radio Accountability Initiative,” at the RAB ’09 conference. Harold Geller, SVP/cross-industry workflow, 4A’s, and managing director, Ad-ID LLC, announced the initiative during a panel discussion entitled  “Increasing Cash Flow and Decreasing Makegoods Through Digital Commercial Workflow.” The Initiative will address accountability and distribution platforms that ensure the right commercials get on the right stations.

In endorsing the Initiative, Jeff Haley, president-CEO, RAB, said “As radio aims to grow its share of ad dollars, proof of performance, improved commercial workflow and consumer interactivity are increasingly important at the station level. It is beneficial to make radio commercials as interactive as the purchase-enabled songs to which they are attached.”

However, if advertisers are just trying to track their ad campaign for accountability, the AdID code really does not provide them anymore than what they get from Mediaguide or Media Monitors. AdID is just a replacement for their fingerprint or watermark as the unique identifier of an ad. As well, there are a lot of moving parts that need to be in place to make the AdID system for tracking work, namely stations embedding the codes in RDS and equipment/network to decode and quantify RDS data. If you look at who is on the new radio accountability committee you can see it is AdID, Powerlink, Jump2Go and FirstSpin. Is this group an unbiased accountability committee or a neutral industry standards body or a group of companies seeking to create a coalition business around ad distribution, monitoring and measurement?

The battle is between passive and active technologies–both have merit. Passive technologies. like Mediaguide and Media Monitors do not require the cooperation of stations, distribution channels, or even advertisers in many cases. Therefore they can rapidly achieve broad market coverage and standardized data.

AdID has merit if it stays neutral. This allows advertiser to work with whatever technology or company they desire and still be able to consolidate their info. But if AdID intermingles its service with preferred services or technologies it will not achieve the level or rate of adoption that it could.

Since companies like Mediaguide’s SeeSpotRun and MediaMonitors already provide this type of service, do we really need Ad-ID?

“We believe that today Mediaguide/SeeSpotrun  is a solid solution that enables a radio advertiser to monitor, measure and analyze individual ads and radio campaigns as they occur across markets and stations.  AdID, can add value to our solution by enabling tracking across audio media outlets such and broadcast and internet radio, and enabling association of radio occurrence data with other media types involved in a campaign,” Mike Morin, Mediaguide SVP Sales and Business Development tells RBR. “Accountability is merely a stepping stone on the way to effectiveness.  Advertisers’ perceived value for accountability alone began eroding when digital media started delivering click-through data.  We need to get past accountability and work toward a form of interaction measure for radio that more closely tracks with revenue generating consumer action. The key to radio’s future is not more stations or more local content or centralized operating efficiencies- but rather connecting it to the rest of the digital world.  I do not mean better radio station websites, I mean tools to interact individually and socially with both entertainment and advertising content.  Interaction data inherently possess a level of exposure information and enables advertisers over time to quantify the truly interested segment of the exposed audience.”