playlists mean interactivity mean visual ad impressions

Neilsen Business Media: Web Music Category Tunes to Audio, Visual Ad Models

“The behavior of listening to music, at the end of the day, is almost entirely audio driven,” said Eric Ronning, co-president, sales of the Internet Radio firm TargetSpot. But many music playlist sites have been hesitant to push audio ads, instead building their ad business around display advertising and sponsorships. Ronning predicts that may change as these businesses evolve. “You can argue that playlists are highly engaging, but they are also an iPod like. I don’t expect an ad so much in that experience…and almost none of that is visual.” Yet many Web music purveyors see visual ads as better suited for such an interactive medium. For example, when users listen to free CDs on AOL Music, “they may be focused on other things, but there’s lots of natural engagement moments that bring you back to the site,” said Mike Rich, AOL’s senior VP, AOL Entertainment. “For us, context and curation are key to keeping users engaged.” (AOL Music’s audience surged by 24 percent to 28 million uniques this past May, per comScore). That’s true even for a seemingly background-relegated music product like the popular Web radio platform Pandora. Its users actively rate songs 7 million times a day in aggregate. “That’s seven million times people come in contact with your ad,” said chief revenue officer John Trimble. Still, Pandora has introduced audio ads in the past year.

4 thoughts on “playlists mean interactivity mean visual ad impressions

  1. The visual interactive ad as part of a iPod experience is both easy to envision from a “Minority Report” context, but building it out doesn’t seem to be getting much traction in 2009. That is, unless they are hiding the hooks below the surface pretty well.

    I know that the pixelcorp.com has been eyeing the educational/DIY content focused shows for interactive ads via product placement. That makes sense for video focused media, and the media player support is a large part of the gating factor.

    Enhanced podcasts in iTunes/iPods can go part of the distance, but the portable player sure seems to be really limited in terms of capitalizing on this. Even with something as sophisticated as an iPod Touch. Or have I got this all wrong and the tools are all there, just waiting on the right developer conference to make the game changing announcement?

  2. I’ve seen ads in the album art… That successfully gets carried over to the portable and displayed. But it’s not really interactive since it’s a static graphic rather than a clickable page.

    Marc Cohen has a crusade on the topic of getting ads to work in the portable. Motto: “Don’t Sell The Music, Sell The Time Spent Listening To The Music.” I think that his POV is that there is no other place but the portable to sell the ad, since that’s where the listening hours are.

  3. But yeah, I agree that interactive ads on the portable don’t really exist.

    My Wax MP3 project includes this big HTML panel for the sake of interactivity and ultimately monetization.

  4. The word: interactive, can carry the “web 1.0” context of a passive web consumption behavior setting. So I tend to avoid using it unless I know that I can be really vague and get away with it ;)

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