Quu, developer of visual in-car displays for radio, has unveiled its newest sales product, the Content Partnership. This dashboard sponsorship looks to drive new, long-term revenue by embedding advertiser messages on RDS and HD displays while tackling a larger problem – the static RDS.
Radio Ink got an early look at the technology. Here’s how a Content Partnership works:
Typically two Partnerships are sold per station. When a song starts, the typical dashboard info (song title, artist, cover art) is displayed for 90 seconds. Then for the next 30 seconds, the first advertiser’s information and message are displayed. After that, the song info returns for the duration. During the next song, the same thing happens with Partner number two’s information, alternating throughout the day.
In the past, static displays would run during stopsets, usually with only one advertiser’s message in print accompanying several other audio messages. To gauge this effect on the audience, Jacobs Media presented this exact scenario to different audiences. Radio Ink asked Fred Jacobs about the results and some common misconceptions he found.
“Listeners were often confused by it. Some thought it was some sort of technical problem preventing the message from disappearing. For others, it was distracting and an unattractive use of the dashboard,” Jacobs said. “You have to look at in the larger context of what a driver, or passenger, sees on their dashboard screen. Radio is the only medium that does this, often creating too much content on the screen at the same time.”
So how does that effect an ad’s effectiveness and, by extension, the station’s bottom line?
“To some degree, advertising effectiveness is in the eye, or ear, of the beholder. Most of us don’t like screaming car dealer commercials…but we remember them. Would they encourage us or repel us from patronizing that dealership? Hard to say. But we saw no lift for the static display advertiser, other than it was annoying. But what about the other ads that may run simultaneously? You have to believe those clients aren’t being helped by two competing clients advertising at the same time.”
Jacobs found negative connotations didn’t just stop at the ad, either. “By extension, what does it say about the station? Why would they provide a suboptimal experience in the number one listening location, in a situation where the listener may very well notice it? I love the technology, but only when it makes radio look as good as it sounds.”
Quu’s Content Partnership messages aren’t displayed during stopsets. This allows stations to sell visual space without audio conflict, and avoids angry calls from clients asking why a competitor’s text ran during their spot.
Audacy, Beasley Media Group, Radio FM Fargo, and others have already successfully sold the Content Partnership to local advertisers during the pilot phase. Per Quu, a top 10 market sold an auto dealership a year-long content partnership for $300K. A top 200 market sold the Content Partnership across multiple stations for $90K.
“We sold out 90% of our Content Partnerships almost immediately upon launching at the start of 2023,” said Scott Springer, General Sales Manager at Audacy. “We are currently at 350% of the previous year’s RDS non-spot revenue, with one station position still available to sell, which we expect to close in the next few weeks.”
“I’m happy to say we are already making money with Quu’s Content Partnership product. Quu’s technology enhances listening and adds a new viewing experience for our stations,” said Tony Renda Sr., CEO of Renda Broadcasting. “The Quu team has been excellent to work with too. I’m very pleased with how easy it’s been to set up and sell Quu.”
“The week we launched Quu Advertiser, we were in the middle of a major blizzard. That didn’t stop our team from selling five Content Partnerships right out of the gate – adding $90K a year in new revenue,” says Nancy Odney, COO of Radio FM Fargo.
“Quu is dedicated to bringing the radio industry new and original solutions to engage listeners and drive revenue,” said Steve Newberry, CEO of Quu. “With the Content Partnership, we’re elevating radio to new levels of engagement, allowing advertisers to reach a captive audience in a way that’s never been possible before.”