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Offline, online radio listeners don’t mind commercials

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A majority of radio listeners said they did not mind listening to commercials in exchange of free content.

Edison Research and Triton Digital’s The Infinite Dial 2014 report showed that 80 percent of people listening to AM/FM radio and 75 percent of internet audio listeners believe that “listening to commercials is a fair price to pay for free programming.”

Only 12 percent of broadcast radio audiences and 20 percent of online listeners expressed disagreement while the rest said they do not know or do not have an opinion yet.

The findings are a welcome insight for publishers and advertisers alike since many popular audio services are free of charge but with featured advertisements.

Pandora (P), which remains a leader in online music streaming with 75 million active users and 3.3 million paid subscribers, has been utilizing its technology to also match consumers with advertisements.

A Forbes article said almost 90 percent of the company’s $427.1 million in revenue last year came from advertising.

Pandora has a host of advertising options, from animated overlays to audio clips.

Meanwhile, its rival iHeartRadio has more than 30 million registered users and 50 million unique monthly visitors. Its advertisements are in the form of both audio and banner ads.

While music streaming sites allow users to create playlists, spoken word radio or platforms like Audioboo let listeners look for channels to tune in to.

Similar to what YouTube does, the London-based Audioboom Group PLC (BOOM.L) gives publishers or broadcasters the option to monetize their channels through pre- and post-roll advertising. Channels allow unlimited recording and uploads, as well as multiple account contributors. Channel owners can have revenue sharing in the advertisement option.

Audioboo’s “advertising on demand” service allows adverts to appear in HTML5 players, audio apps, Twitter media cards, Facebook embeds, XML feeds and iTunes, meaning it will be available in all touchpoints and content partner websites.

"Adverts can also be geo-targeted, rate limited or source targeted, depending on a broadcaster’s individual requirements," the company’s previous release said.

Audioboom’s chief executive officer Rob Proctor earlier said the system hits two birds with one stone since the advertising option will attract great content for the platform and at the same time help publishers monetize and regain the cost of producing their podcast or audio clip.

As Audioboo clinches content partnerships with the likes of BBC and CBS, its audience grows. From 19 channels, it now has 2,000 channels. From thousands of subscribers, Audioboo boasts of 2.5 registered users and 13 million active users.

In the end, advertisements are here to stay, especially now that audio platforms are finding ways to make advertisements more responsive and less intrusive.

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