Forming the largest, most diverse internet advertising radio network in the country led by pioneers in the field, TargetSpot, Inc. announced that it has acquired Ronning Lipset Radio.
The new combined company will have the largest reach of any online audio advertising network. The company will represent more than 1000 stations, on more than 50 radio groups and web properties. The network partners include the top tier of internet radio, from large terrestrial broadcasters such as CBS Radio and Entercom, to the big internet pure play properties such as Yahoo, AOL and Live 365, to the best independent stations that have revolutionized internet radio such as Big R Radio, 181.fm and 1club.fm.
Ronning Lipset Radio’s two cofounders and managing partners, Eric Ronning and Andy Lipset, will join TargetSpot serving as co-Presidents, Sales, along with the entire Ronning Lipset team.
Online Radio has seen tremendous audience growth and advertiser adoption as a medium over the past 5 years. Today, according to Arbitron Edison’s Infinite Dial 2008 Study, over 50 million people in the United States listen to internet radio every month and this number is expected to double over the next several years. As innovators in this industry from a sales and technology standpoint, the company’s combined market position creates a unique opportunity for broadcasters and advertisers to partner in ways previously unavailable.
TargetSpot now boasts both the most experienced sales team in internet radio, able to provide in-depth services to large national and regional agencies, as well as the only technology allowing direct access to ad creation, transparent campaign creation, hyper geo and demographic targeting and real time reporting for advertisers of all sizes and budgets. The combined company is the one online destination that can truly meet the needs of large national radio advertisers, interactive advertisers, local businesses and first-time audio advertisers.
“Eric and Andy are true leaders and innovators in their field. Ronning Lipset Radio was the first company to recognize the untapped value and immense opportunities presented by internet radio advertising. They have generated more revenue for the online radio industry than any other third party rep firm and have accounted for close to 14 billion audio player impressions sold since the company’s inception. With TargetSpot’s technology and Ronning Lipset’s sales expertise, we look forward to providing unprecedented solutions for advertisers and the strongest monetization possible for internet radio businesses,” said TargetSpot CEO Doug Perlson.
“This is just the right thing to do for both companies to go forward into what the market is now,” Eric Ronning tells RBR. “Andy and I have spent a lot of time building the right way to think about this and help get the market moving in that direction. We think TargetSpot has really created a best of brand technological advantage for geo-targeting and adoption at the agency level seems to the defacto, the only choice. And then, to start introducing each other through the shared client of CBS, it kind of starts new conversations, thoughts and insights. The market was very, very anxious, from a lot of the agencies and both sides were getting a lot of over the last year of people saying, ‘You guys should really look at this kind of [merger].”
Prior to co-founding Ronning Lipset Radio in 2003, Eric Ronning and Andy Lipset each had vast experience in traditional and interactive advertising.
Ronning served for four years as an Executive Director at Yahoo!, where he led a team responsible for successfully building Yahoo!’s reputation and market share with advertising agencies and Fortune 500 company clients. Prior to that, he served as Regional Vice President for Clear Channel National Radio Sales/Interep Radio in the Southeast region, as well as working as VP/Director of Sales for D&R Radio/Interep and Sales Manager for Blair Radio/Katz Media in Los Angeles.
Lipset, an 18 year media sales and management veteran, served as Director of Sales for AOL Music, where he worked with marketers to create programs centered on the company’s Music and Radio properties. He also worked as Vice President/ Director of Sales for the New York office of D&R Radio, an Interep company. While at D&R, Mr. Lipset guided the company’s largest office and helped lead the company to a position as the firm leader in the radio rep business. Mr. Lipset has also worked as an Account Executive at leading radio advertising firms such as Hillier, Newmark, Wechsler and Howard Radio Sales/Interep.
“The Online Radio audience is exploding and our combined platform is now clearly unsurpassed in the industry. Ronning Lipset and TargetSpot have been complimentary leaders and innovators in the space and combined are poised for explosive growth. We aim to be able to meet every advertiser’s needs and continue to be the leader in driving revenue for internet radio broadcasters,” said Mr. Lipset.
“TargetSpot has opened doors for advertisers looking for new avenues to pursue effective marketing campaigns and has captured the attention, and more importantly, the business of big and small advertisers alike. At a time of economic uncertainty, radio has always fared well as an advertising option. Using TargetSpot technology, Online Radio with its unique ability to reach, engage and report, will also be a primary part of advertiser’s investments when they need to know that every dollar they spend is one that will be well spent,” said Mr. Ronning.
Perlson noted that TargetSpot is also well positioned to lead the charge into the burgeoning mobile advertising field. Streaming radio applications for mobile devices are proving enormously popular, and TargetSpot will be the leader in monetizing these mobile streams. “We are big believers that audio advertising will prove to be the single most effective way to reach someone using a mobile connected device, and our mobile audio advertising solutions will open up this exciting new base for advertisers and broadcasters alike by the end of the year,” said Perlson.
TargetSpot’s patent pending technology allows businesses of all sizes to create, buy and place their own advertising messages on internet radio services. Using TargetSpot’s online ad platform, advertisers can create cost-effective customized audio, video, banner and text ads with an array of music beds, sound effects and visuals provided by TargetSpot. Clients can also upload their current creative directly into their TargetSpot account. Ads are then targeted to specific demographics, locations (down to the zip code), formats and/or stations.