Coming out of the NAB Convention in Las Vegas a few weeks ago, one of the interesting story lines is the number of radio stations and groups that are now streaming or now considering streaming their broadcast signal. That means these companies are no longer covering the broadcast advertising in the stream with stream-only ads. Apparently, simply airing the broadcast on the stream is now modus operandi for many except the very largest groups that continue to air non-broadcast streams and continue to do stream-only ad replacements. Further, there is a rumor that SAG/AFTRA policy that requires ad replacements within the stream may formally change.
This shift is interesting because it pits the streaming strategy of major groups such as CBS and Clear Channel in one camp, and the mid-sized and smaller groups in another camp. The majors are apparently betting on a streaming sales future, while the other groups are retrenching behind towers and their broadcast sales.
The argument for putting the broadcast on the stream is compelling. Stations with simulcast streaming ratings can combine their streaming ratings with their broadcast ratings and sell the higher (combined broadcast and stream) ratings. The same ads will air on the broadcast and the stream, simplifying the sales pitch and maximizing advertiser results.
This is a sea change to watch. If the rumors are correct, then it will be interesting to follow the successes, or the failures, of each approach running side by side in the same markets. If you have any insight or comments, please click here and jump in.
–Mike Henry/CEO Paragon