Two radio advertising veterans, Eric Ronning and Andy Lipset, whose careers have spanned years working for traditional radio powerhouse Clear Channel and online radio pioneers America Online and Yahoo!, have formed the first online radio representation firm aimed at bringing traditional advertisers into the new era of online radio, it was announced today.
Ronning Lipset Radio is the first company poised to capitalize on the rapid growth of the online radio industry. According to the most recent Arbitron/Edison study on online radio, 4 in 10 Americans have listened to Internet Radio, with 16% of the country listening in the past month and 8% of the population listening in the week.
"Online radio has come of age and grown to a size where marketers can now make an impact by reaching this audience," said Ronning, whose pedigree includes executive work for Clear Channel/Interep and Yahoo! "There have been a handful of entities who tried this business several years ago, however, the conditions of the medium were not right at the time. Today, the conditions are different, and we feel, optimum. We now have real numbers in terms of listeners, Arbitron is on board with measuring the audience, and the language of online radio is finally consistent with the language of traditional radio. The pieces are in place."
Lipset, who has directed advertising sales efforts at D & R Radio/Interep and America Online's Music division, believes that they are no longer voices in the wilderness regarding the upward trend.
"Research shows that the consumer sees online radio as another form of radio rather something that's new and different," Lipset said. "Our goal is to bring that same concept to the marketing community. Most online listening takes place either in-office or at-home versus traditional radio that primarily takes place in-car. All of the research shows that the audience is incredibly upscale and has high purchase intent. Finally, the ability to take what works and is effective in traditional radio, run it on online radio, and bring the consumer one step closer to the brand or purchase by accessing the Internet immediately is a tremendous advantage to the marketer, and a great complement to a traditional buy."
Ronning Lipset Radio will help advertisers reach the growing online radio listening audience through the sale of :30 and :60 second commercials to run on online broadcaster's stations. The principals have spent a significant amount of time in the sale and marketing of traditional radio and, later, the online space, which allows them to have a complete understanding of how radio and online marketing come together to meet a marketer's objectives.
Eric Ronning has more than 20 years experience in Radio sales and four years in online marketing. Ronning's career started with Blair/Banner Radio, Los Angeles and later became Director of Sales for Durpetti & Associates/Interep, Los Angeles. Later, Ronning was named Vice President, Director of Sales for D&R Radio/Interep, Los Angeles and Atlanta, where he helped build the company and manage it to become one of the leaders in the radio rep business. In 1997, Ronning was named Senior Vice President/Regional Manager for Clear Channel Radio Sales/Interep, Southeast Region. In 1999, Ronning was hired by Yahoo! Inc. as Executive Director to help the company in the sale and marketing of the company to Fortune 200 companies.
Andy Lipset, a 12-year Radio sales veteran, started in Radio as an Account Executive at Hillier, Newmark, Wechsler and Howard Radio Sales/Interep, New York. He was then named Vice President, Director of Sales for D&R Radio/Interep, New York, where he built the New York office and managed it to become one of the leaders in the radio rep business. While at Interep, Lipset also wrote the curriculum for and directed the Radio Apprentice Program, Interep's industry leading training program from 1993-1996 and 1999-2000. Lipset joined America Online, Inc. in 2002 as Director/Sales for AOL Music where he worked with marketers on creating programs centered on the company's Music and Radio properties.