Mixberry Media to fill dead space in streaming radio with ads

New platform aims to insert ads into the idle time in audio streams whenever a user switches channels or changes songs.

Last year, Google was on track to resurrect its radio ads project for online streaming music only to throw in the towel again and focus efforts on its own music service.

With the rise in streaming music services such as Pandora, Spotify, Mog, and Rdio, Silicon Valley startup Mixberry Media believes it can succeed where the search giant failed.

The company has recently introduced a new ad platform for voice and audio advertising that takes advantage of the dead time common in streaming music apps to deliver 5, 10, or 15-second ads.

According to Mixberry, monetizing streaming music services is difficult because mobile users are about half as likely as non-mobile Internet users to click on ads. Most listeners simply hide or minimize their Pandora or Spotify apps so they never even see the banners that accompany audio ads.

Rather than relying on banners, the company's approach utilizes the idle time that crops up in between songs whenever a user changes channels or skips songs. In about a second, a publisher can request an ad from Mixberry's servers and then play it to a user as the next song is queued up, all non-disruptively.

“Our vAds technology brings a fresh and unique approach to mobile and WEB advertising.” said Andre Hawit, founder and CEO. “We capitalize and monetize idle and transition time in a friendly, non-intrusive and extremely effective manner. We are the shortest distance between advertisers and their target audience.”

The company simplifies ad creation for advertisers with an online studio, aptly named "AdStudio." The tools in the studio, such as text-to-speech ad creation and the ability to choose various languages, accents, and personalities, makes it possible to create quality ads without the need for costly gear, voice talents, or a recording studio. Advertisers can also directly upload an audio file up to 15 seconds in length.

The self-financed startup is in talks with nearly all the top 20 music streaming apps (web and mobile) on the market and have their sights on providing an additional source of revenue for streaming radio providers.

Emerging ad models like Mixberry's platform could help sustain digital streaming music services as they continue to struggle with record labels over revenue.