They are not faces you often see on CNN or Fox News, and it’s only ten names, but it’s support nonetheless. Ten members of Congress have sent a letter of support for Zonecasting to FCC Chair Jessica Rosenworcel voicing their support for the technology.
The letter states the members support the rule because “we believe the inability to use boosters to geo-target specific zip codes further exacerbate inequities for minorities in broadcast radio. With the ability to geo-target, minority owned radio stations could benefit from more advertisements sold, lower costs for small business advertisements and more curated cultural content.”
This week at the Radio Ink Hispanic Radio Conference in Miami NAB CEO Curtis LeGeyt stood firm that the NAB is opposed to Zonecasting. He said the economic ramifications will be felt by broadcasters of all sizes. “Approving Zonecasting would be a race to the bottom. It would devalue advertising rates.” LeGeyt said he’s not hearing from broadcasters that they support the rule change that would allow FM boosters to geo-target programming and ads, a few minutes per hour, to specific communities. LeGeyt said the technology received some early support before the technology was actually tested.
The letter from the ten members goes on to say that geo-targeted content is not a novel idea. “All other forms of media currently utilize this technology to deliver content, including television, internet, cable, direct mail, newspapers, and mobile devices. Only radio is currently constrained from doing so.”
They go on to say that permitting FM radio stations to geo-target content will not only help minority broadcasters, but the proposed rule will also relieve the frustration of minority small businesses by allowing them the option to purchase affordable, targeted advertising to reach their neighbors. “This would be a significant opportunity for African American, Native American, and Hispanic American small businesses that have been historically unable to afford the exorbitant prices associated with saturating an entire market with advertising.”
The members who signed the letter are: Henry Johnson, Bennie Thompson, Barbara Lee, Anthony Brown, Joyce Beatty, Troy Carter, Eric Swalwell, Danny Davis, Emanuel Cleaver and Robert Scott