Video didn’t kill the radio star… and neither will a recession nor a tumbling ad market. During what was a tumultuous year for both radio and advertising, Bid4Spots said its online marketplace for radio airtime roughly doubled in size. The company today reported a 93 percent increase in total ad revenue generated for radio stations in 2008, compared with 2007.
Bid4Spots president and CEO Dave Newmark will be speaking at Radio Ink’s Convergence ’09 conference, held in San Jose, Calif., early next week. His session, titled “How the Most Successful ‘Do-It-Yourself’ Media Buying Model Really Works,” is scheduled for 2 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 10.
Bid4Spots hosts a weekly online auction every Thursday, where radio stations sell airtime for the next broadcast week and advertisers can buy premium inventory at reduced rates. What sets it apart from other media marketplaces that have failed: it’s a reverse auction, designed from within the industry by radio and advertising veterans who worked closely with stations and advertisers to build a system that works for both.
Total advertiser participation in Bid4Spots’ weekly auctions increased by 11 percent in 2008 – much of which was generated because existing advertisers are increasing their use of the system. The Bid4Spots network includes more than 3,200 advertisers, and at least 11 percent of that total had never used radio advertising in the past.
“We’re extremely proud of the growth we’ve experienced, because it’s a clear sign that what we’re doing is helping advertisers and stations connect with each other in a way that works for everyone,” said Newmark. “Otherwise, they wouldn’t come. We’ve got a thriving network of 2,500 stations and 3,200 advertisers that come together at the same time every Thursday to do business with each other in a live online auction. We doubled that activity last year, even in the midst of predictions of doom and gloom, and as industry heavyweights struggled. We could only do that with a winning formula.”
Newmark says one of the factors in the company’s continued success is an original auction design process that was painstaking in its detail, focused on creating the best possible user experience. Newmark and his wife and fellow radio entrepreneur, Patty, tapped their long-standing relationships in both radio and advertising. They worked with parties on both sides to understand and accommodate the non-negotiable
needs of each.
Stations, for example, did not want the auction system to compromise the integrity of their existing rates for scheduled buys. So the Newmarks limit Bid4Spots’ marketplace to last-minute airtime, and keep rates confidential – masked by the system’s ranking index.
For advertisers, the Bid4Spots system makes radio airtime accessible – with no contracts, no negotiations with stations and no previous radio buying experience necessary. The Newmarks are committed to nurturing those relationships and helping advertisers know how to use the system to get maximum results.
Complementing Search: ‘One of the Best Ways to Drive Listeners Online’ Ben Kiblinger, co-founder and managing director of online marketing agency RevUpNet (www.RevUpNet.com), uses Bid4Spots to buy radio airtime for his clients – many of whom want to drive traffic to their websites, and all of whom want measurable customer acquisition results.
“Bid4Spots is one of the best ways to drive radio listeners online,” said Kiblinger.
“I’ve seen our search numbers double as soon as we start running a radio campaign using Bid4Spots. It’s a proven way to get people online to sign up for a product or service. Bid4Spots has become part of our long-term strategy for our clients, especially this year as measurable return on investment becomes even more important. With Bid4Spots we’re able to deliver better value to our clients.”
Launched in September 2005, Bid4Spots is the industry’s only online reverse auction marketplace for last-minute radio airtime. The Bid4Spots network includes more than 3,200 advertisers and 2,500 radio stations nationwide. Participants come together every Thursday to do business with each other in a live online auction. Bid4Spots makes radio easy, affordable and accessible for businesses of all sizes, giving advertisers access to desirable stations, airtimes and audiences. Radio stations gain a revenue stream by selling inventory that otherwise would have remained unsold, in a safe format that protects the integrity of their existing rates for scheduled buys. Founded by radio advertising veterans Dave and Patty Newmark, Bid4Spots is based in Encino, Calif.