Music Tech

8tracks Adding Audio Ads To Follow Mobile Listeners

8tracks8tracks is a leading web radio music service that is also profitable. They currently have a combination of sponsored playlists and recently introduced video pre-roll ads to their ad-supported service. But 8tracks CEO David Porter told RAIN News that they're getting into audio ads because music listeners are increasingly going mobile. They're kicking things off with a partnership with AudioHQ which launched this month with a hybrid audio ad network that offers premium inventory via programmatic sales.

Earlier this summer 8tracks were said to be closing a second round of funding putting total funding at a possible high of $2.9 million. From a distance they seem one of the sturdier competitors in the game.

Surprisingly enough, though profitable from a combination of ad-support and ad-free subscriptions, David Porter recently talked to RAIN News about the fact that they are just now getting into audio ads:

"We’re going to start slowly…We’re interested in formats that would be great for our young audience. At the same time, we remain mindful that buyers are used to standard formats — 15-second and 30-seconds spots."

Though Porter says they'll be paying close attention to listener reactions, they:

"have to follow the listening experience, which is shifting to mobile and walking around with a phone. Audio ads have to be in the mix."

Last week AudioHQ, who don't seem to have a website (help me out here), officially launched and announced their partnership with 8tracks to introduce audio ads.

RAIN News also spoke with AudioHQ about their plans.

What they're doing is trying to find a middle ground between direct premium audio ad sales with the highest payouts and programmatic marketing which automates inventory and pushes pricing lower.

As David Porter pointed out, 8tracks is new to audio ads and has a lot to learn about the format while also building a sales team. Given the combination of scale, a great audience with an untested history with audio ads, they appear to be a good fit with AudioHQ at this stage.


Hypebot Senior Contributor Clyde Smith (@fluxresearch) recently launched DanceLand. Send news about music tech startups and services, DIY music biz and music marketing to: clyde(at)fluxresearch(dot)com.

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