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Traditional Radio Gets Its 'Second Screen' in SoundHound-Dial Global Partnership

Technology Could Expand Radio Ads to Other Media Venues

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Radio-network company Dial Global and music ID app SoundHound have inked an exclusive deal to extend radio ad campaigns and sponsorships onto mobile phones through a platform called SoundHound for Radio.

SoundHound, like Shazam, lets people identify a song playing in their immediate vicinity simply by opening the app and holding their phone up.

Soundhound app
Soundhound app

This is how SoundHound for Radio works: Radio listeners will hear a call to action either from a radio host or in a radio ad to use their mobile phone to "SoundHound" the broadcast. Listeners don't have to open the app immediately, but can do so over a specified period of time that could be a few hours. Once they do so, they will be greeted with elements such as exclusive content, contest-entry forms or other sponsored promotional opportunities.

One of the pilot campaigns, rolled out around the Super Bowl, let SoundHound users pull up an exclusive interview with country singer Tim McGraw, preorder his new album and enter for the chance to win a vacation. It was sponsored by Geico.

Ken Williams, president of Dial Global, says the partnership will give radio advertisers some of the campaign measurement abilities only available in digital mediums. "Radio never before had the ability to quantify and prove engagement," Mr. Williams said. "That's what the medium lacked."

There are a few obstacles to the product taking off, though. For one, a good chunk of radio listening happens in cars, where drivers probably shouldn't be taking their hand off the wheel to use the app. But SoundHound and Dial Global execs say car drivers don't have to worry about using the app right when they hear the promotion, so they can do it when they get to their destination.

The Dial Global sales team is taking the lead on selling SoundHound-integrated campaigns. The two companies will share the resulting ad revenue. The SoundHound for Radio platform will roll out first on national radio shows, and then be available to local stations later this year.

SoundHound says it has been downloaded 130 million times globally, and has "tens of millions" of people who have used the app in the last month. The company won't say how many of those users are in the U.S.

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