IQ News: Audible Email Plugs Radio DJ

A2b music, AT&T Labs’ Web-based music delivery venture, is teaming with Fairwest Direct, San Francisco, on an email campaign launching today for Bay Area rock oldies station KSAN. The email message literally announces the debut of disc jockey Darian O’Toole.
The a2b technology combines audio compression with email technology to deliver to Internet users CD-quality music without plug-ins. In this case, the email-delivered message will be a verbal invitation from O’Toole to enter a contest. The email will also include O’Toole’s photograph and a link to the KSAN Web site.
“KSAN has been intensive with its collection of an email database,” said Rob Sisco, vice president, marketing services at Fairwest, a direct marketing firm specializing in radio, television and shopping mall promos.
The only direct listener marketing they have done is via email, Sisco added. He declined to quantify the number of promotional emails to be distributed, calling it “tens of thousands” over a 90-day period.
The a2b music delivery system launched in November 1997. “We thought, wouldn’t it also be great to enable people who have high quality audio messages to convey to do that without downloads?” explained Larry Miller, chief operating officer and co-founder of a2b music.
Since its July 13 launch, a2b Mail has been used by N2K’s Music Boulevard, MCA/Universal and Ticketmaster. The KSAN promotion will be the first use of the application by a radio station, which typically rely on faxes for outgoing marketing efforts. Sisco predicts email will replace the fax for radio marketing and promotions. –Susan Kuchinskas