Colm Grealy’s Adforce has been selected by Denis O’Brien’s Communicorp to deliver a new digital audio advertising offering across live and on-demand radio broadcasts and podcasts for Today FM, Newstalk, Spin1038, Spin SW and 98FM.
The deal represents a new paradigm for radio advertising in Ireland, and signposts the digital future of the radio industry.
Using the Adforce platform, unlike FM ads, multiple digital audio ads can run simultaneously to cater for different target listeners.
‘Radio has always been a high-engagement medium, and digital audio takes this to a new level because of the customisation and control it offers’
– DEBORAH CARPENTER, COMMUNICORP
In effect, Adforce will be the exclusive sales representative for Communicorp’s digital audio advertising across its podcasts and on-demand radio broadcasts.
The radio business is fashioning a future around streaming trends over smartphones.
Radio moves from airwaves to smartphone streaming
Adforce.com will connect advertisers to highly-targeted streaming audio listeners, using pre-roll and in-stream ad formats operated by Triton Digital. Triton’s technology brings programmic advertising technology to the radio waves.
In February, Adforce signed a Europe-wide deal with Triton Digital, which powers digital advertising for US radio stations.
‘The advertising potential of digital audio has remained largely untapped by radio broadcasters in Ireland, until now’
– ROB KINSELLA, ADFORCE
“Radio has always been a high-engagement medium, and digital audio takes this to a new level because of the customisation and control it offers,” said Deborah Carpenter, head of Solutions and Insights at Communicorp.
In the US, in the first quarter of 2016, more than 84.43 million adults listened to audio streaming on smartphones, up from 67.62 million adults for the same quarter last year.
Streaming audio on smartphones for all adults is showing impressive growth, from 4.39 billion gross minutes to 8.34 billion minutes (Nielsen, July 2016).
According to IPSOS MRBI research from last year, 67pc of 18-37 year-olds listen to online radio each month.
“The advertising potential of digital audio has remained largely untapped by radio broadcasters in Ireland, until now,” said Rob Kinsella, director of Adforce.com.
“Communicorp will be the first to market in Ireland with in-stream advertising customised for digital audio listeners, and we are delighted to be working with them in rolling this out.”
Grealy, a founding figure of the Irish internet industry, also earlier this year secured a deal with US newspaper publisher New York Press Service for Adforce to sell advertising across more than 750 US and mobile newspaper websites.
This isn’t the first time that Grealy and O’Brien have brushed shoulders in the business world.
Grealy helped to grow Ireland’s first consumer ISP, Ireland On-line – established by Barry Flanagan in 1992 – which he and Flanagan sold to PostGem for IR£2.5m. Just two years later, PostGem was acquired by O’Brien’s Esat Telecom for £115m. And just a year later, in 2000, Esat Telecom was bought by BT for £849m.
Digital audio image via Shutterstock