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Tech Forecast

Local Radio Stations Embracing Targeted Ads

A new product from video advertising firm mDialog for radio stations customizes advertising for mobile and desktop streaming listeners.

Video advertising company mDialog is releasing a new product aimed at local radio stations wishing to air Pandora- and Spotify-style targeted ads on the Internet stream. The product, called Radio Stream, uses Apple's HTTP Live Streaming protocol to insert targeted ads—including multimedia and video content—into terrestrial radio stations' desktop and mobile streams. The product is aimed at local radio stations and comes accompanied by an SDK that allows for integration of coupons, Facebook, and Twitter for listeners on radio devices.

Greg Philpott, mDialog's CEO, told Fast Company in a phone conversation that being able to localize advertising using platforms like Radio Stream "is one of key reasons brands buy radio spots, and a great way of getting local." Digital advertising platforms also give radio stations and advertisers far more detailed analytics on who's listening to their ads and who engages with them.

Targeted advertising is common on Internet radio platforms such as Pandora, Spotify, and IHeartRadio. And Pandora recently partnered with media buying platforms Strata and Mediaocean to put its ratings data alongside terrestrial radio's and streamline potential local and national ad buys. By comparison, adoption of targeted ads has been somewhat slow among conventional, brick-and-mortar radio stations. MDialog is one of the first entrants into the space.