adStream is a journal of ad-stalking and interesting commercial sightings in online audio services.
There are two main revenue paths for online streaming audio: advertising, and subscriptions. The balance of the two differs among music services. For example, Pandora’s mission is to disrupt and replace terrestrial radio, and pursues a boldly aggressive ad-selling program, with substantial investment devoting to carving into the broadcast advertising market. At the same time, the Pandora apps frequently pop up promotions for the monthly subscription plan which removes advertisements from the streams.
We recently spotted a similar tactic in Live365, the aggregating platform for Internet radio stations, which uses banner inventory attached to audio ads to funnel users into subscribing.
“A Word From Our Sponsor” is the banner which heralds an audio spot, and beneath it, “Prefer uninterrupted listening?” That tag leads to a landing page with subscription info for the “VIP” service, which costs $5.95/month if you sign up for a year in advance.
Live365 also uses that tagline embedded in the advertiser’s creative banner, as with this screenshot of a Liberty Mutual ad: