Clip Interactive announces new partners and revenue generation; we speak with CEO

Clip Interactive, a mobile platform for radio stations, released a slew of announcements of new partners and increased revenue for existing partners. We took the opportunity to speak with CEO Michael Lawless about the product and its recent news.

clip radio screenshot 300wFirst, the PR details: Clip Interactive has signed Digity Media (68 stations in 16 markets) and Beasley Broadcast Group. In both cases, Clip will develop mobile apps for the group stations. (Presumably, the stations will also be added to Clip Radio, the company’s aggregation app that presents Clip-enabled stations.)

On the results side, Clip Interactive announced that it generated over a million dollars in 2014 incremental revenue for existing clients Alpha Media (Portland), Salem Broadcasting (Portland), and Cumulus Media (Indianapolis).

The Clip Interactive platform provides touch-and-tap engagement with the broadcast stream and assets, including selecting and storing music clips, entering contests, seeing station Facebook updates in real-time, and engaging with advertisements. That last point is key to the increased revenue generation, according to CEO Michael Lawless.

“Commercial campaigns are heavily engaged. We average a 26% engagement rate on them. That means that for every 100 people who open the ad, a quarter of them are engaging the ad by offering themselves as a lead, or taking the advertiser’s survey … which is an amazing rate.”

Lawless noted that station contests also do very well on the Clip platform. “People interact with compelling station promotions, like contests. The contests persist in the mobile app, and we see those campaigns getting a lot of attention. Some contests allow multiple entries, and we have the business logic to support one entry each day. That is extremely popular.”

“Audio uniquely drives engagement with advertisements. Audio is a compelling medium for compelling people to take action.” –Michael Lawless, CEO, Clip Interactive

michael lawless 250wClip claims to have dramatically increased key performance metrics for some stations in 2014: “We’ve more than doubled the number of sessions and unique monthly active listeners, as well as the time spent listening, in one year,” Lawless said. “I believe the doubling hasn’t just been a result of tapping into streamers, but tapping into broadcast listeners. I think that’s where we’re starting to see the audience grow.”

Along that line we asked about Clip Interactive’s reach, in the context of a station’s total audience. He described three audience components: broadcast-only listeners, existing stream listeners, and “flipped” users of Clip-enabled apps.

“It [conversion of existing users] is central to our strategy. We find it easy to convert listeners who are already streaming, to Clip-enabled listeners. But the real key is the conversion and acquisition of the rest of the audience. A typical radio station that has 5% of their cume on the streaming side is sitting on 95% of their base on broadcast. We need to convert that audience, where most of the listening is.”

“Radio needs to be thinking about messaging and engaging [terrestrial] listeners, bringing them into the mobile platform.”

During our conversation another mobile platform, Next Radio, came up as a basis for comparison. Michael Lawless chose his words carefully: “Their heart is in the right place. Interactivity for radio is a wonderful idea, and works. NextRadio actually isn’t there yet. They’re talking about a million listening hours over a year, and we’re talking about a million dollars of new incremental revenue. Interactive radio is the right idea, but you can’t just deliver that to Sprint customers — you have to deliver it to all platforms. Our strategy is to enable all consumption, to enable all listeners to interact. And, of course, enable all listeners to be monetized by broadcasters.”

Brad Hill