Cumulus Media launching new traffic reporting service


CumulusCumulus Media is going to compete with Clear Channel’s Total Traffic Network, launching Right Now Traffic in 75 markets beginning next month. Cumulus is partnering with Radiate Media for the traffic service, which will be offered to other broadcasters as well as Cumulus’ own stations.

According to the partners, “Right Now Traffic reports will provide comprehensive coverage of traffic conditions coast to coast. The reports will be powered by the world’s largest traffic flow network, which includes government sensors, toll tag monitoring and billions of GPS data points.”

Cumulus CEO Lew Dickey said he was excited to be teaming with Radiate on the new service. “Americans are spending more than 1,000 hours per year in their cars. Our listeners, advertisers and network affiliates all demand accurate and timely traffic information, and this partnership enables us to address that need with a best in class service,” said Dickey.The announcement claimed the market for advertiser-sponsored traffic reports is at least $300 million, so Right Now Traffic will be looking to take a healthy slice of that pie.

Radiate Media’s traffic data comes in part from Nokia (formerly NAVTEQ) a source also used for GPS navigation devices, in-vehicle navigation systems, mobile devices and hundreds of radio and television stations.

RBR-TVBR observation: It seems every time someone consolidates the radio traffic reporting business, someone else decides to jump in. That’s what happened when Westwood One acquired Shadow Traffic and merged it with Metro Traffic – leading Clear Channel to ramp up Total Traffic from a handful of markets to most major markets. More recently, Clear Channel acquired Metro and merged with Total Traffic. That left the market open for a competitor – and Cumulus is moving to fill that role.