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Absolute Radio is making its first foray into demographic- and location-based ad targeting following a tie up with technology specialist AdSwizz.

The commercial radio broadcaster has kicked off its In-stream ad service, which will give advertisers the opportunity to run integrated ad formats including branded content.

Absolute Radio launched an Accounts service earlier this year, which centres on rewarding people who register by giving their details including name, age and gender, in return for additional and exclusive content. It will now use this data to serve more targeted ads. The AdSwizz technology means it can replace regular air-time ad copy with bespoke, targeted In-stream ads that run across IP-connected devices.

Absolute Radio will continue to build its number of accounts holders so it can effectively target people that are logged into their accounts, using location and demographic details. It will roll out the full commercial offering, including demographic- and location-based targeting, to advertisers before March next year.

Absolute Radio’s director of digital sales James Wigley (pictured) said one of the benefits of the In-stream service is that logged-in listeners will also benefit from having less ads. “The Adswizz system recognises there are less ads and fills the space left with more Absolute Radio exclusive content,” he told new media age.

The move will also let the radio broadcaster integrate ads more closely with its own editorial output as a result of the service. The regular three-minute air time space that normally comprises six 30-second ads, could be replaced with two pieces of bespoke audio copy, while the remaining minute could comprise exclusive radio content, according to Wigley.

Alternatively, the entire three minutes could be replaced with branded content. “This would be like a mini ad-funded programme,” he said.

“We could integrate content from a guest on our shows that may be promoting a film, for example Kevin Bacon talking about X Men: First Class, with interviews and trailers so it is integrated more with the editorial of the show,” he added.

Wigley said the value of providing listeners with additional, exclusive content in exchange for their registering an account has proved very effective. “Over the past three months the opt-in rates of users sharing their location has jumped from 70% to 90%,” he said. “This shows a clear shift in user behaviour when they know their data is being used in a responsible manner and know they will get a series of benefits for doing it.”

Meanwhile, the brand benefit comes from the creation of a deeper relationship between company and consumer, according to Wigley. “Ultimately, the future of In-stream isn’t just about targeted commercial messaging on desktop or mobile, it’s about targeted, personalised content on any web-connected device with a smart interface.”

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Published 12 December, 2011 by NMA Staff

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