EYada.com, an online entertainment radio network, has begun airing audio-enabled banner ads from a handful of advertisers, including Showtime, Xerox, RC Cola and U.S. Army.
The ads, which New York-based eYada.com calls "screaming banners," basically combine the average banner ad with an advertiser's traditional radio spot on eYada.com's streaming medium. The Internet radio network began featuring the audio ads on the site last week and now plans to build on its stable of audio advertisers.
"These are real [radio] commercials on the Internet, which we think have much more impact than a one-dimensional banner ad," said Dave Bialek, eYada.com's vp of sales.
Already, he said, the audio component has produced improved clickthrough rates of about 2 percent, up from an industry average of about 0.3 to 0.5 percent.
In addition to the audio banner ads, the company also plans to have its on-air hosts--including former Sports Illustrated senior editor Kevin Cook and former Sex Pistol frontman Johnny Rotten--encourage listeners to click on specific banners to lead them to an advertiser's site.
"We can also do things in the body of the show, feature enhancements such as a trivia question sponsored by RC Cola," Bialek said. "That's something that radio has fallen away from because they have to deal with affiliate stations."
On the flip side, the audio-enhanced
banner ads can put an advertiser that much closer to the consumer than a traditional radio ad, said Bialek, "because as opposed to a traditional radio ad where somebody hears the ad in the car and then has to remember the Web site to go to, on eYada.com they can hear the ad right there and click on the banner and go directly to the Web site."
All told, eYada.com, which launched its full health and fitness line-up on Sunday, currently features a combined 30 hours of original programming each day on its three channels. Going forward, eYada plans to get involved with placing TV commercials online as well. "That is on the horizon," Bialek said, "but we're not there yet."
For now, he said, eYada.com plans to stick with revisiting tried radio advertising strategies.
"Quite honestly," said Bialek, "the whole audio segment of the Internet is in its nascent stage, so we're helping to create something here. Radio advertising has been around for 100 years, they must be doing something right." n