TV Tune-In Ads Go Big on Online Radio

TV and cable tune-in advertising has always been one of radio’s biggest categories. It’s also shaping up to be one of the biggest spenders in online radio.

For the month of January, Fox Broadcasting and The CW snapped up all of the premium inventory available across Clear Channel’s digital music and radio applications available on the Web and mobile devices.

To promote the premiere of Human Target, Fox is running digital radio campaigns Jan. 17-20.

The CW has been sponsoring iheartradio, Clear Channel’s mobile application since Jan. 4 to promote the premiere of Life Unexpected. The campaign will run through Jan. 18.

“The spending is incremental to what [tune-in advertisers] are spending on air,” said Jeff Howard, president of Clear Channel Radio Sales. “They’re still heavily using radio.”

Tune-in advertisers were among the first to embrace the nascent online radio medium, but lately, TV and cable networks, syndicators and even local stations have stepped it up.

“Our tune-in category has been doubling every year,” said Andy Lipset, co-president of sales for TargetSpot, who estimated that tune-in advertising is a top-five online radio category. “We’re seeing more than ever before.”

Though online radio still represents a small percentage of total radio ad spend, there’s a lot of optimism that tune-ins and other advertisers could make online radio a game changer. “In time, it will become significant,” Howard said.

Clear Channel has claimed that currently 5 percent of its revenue is coming from its digital platforms.

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