Triton Moving Toward Barter � Eyeing Internet Radio Sales
With last week�s acquisition of Excelsior Radio
Networks, Triton Media Group aims to evolve the network radio
business beyond traditional on-air boundaries to include an
equivalent network buy on the Internet, according to MediaWeek.
Although terms were not disclosed, Oaktree
Capital is estimated to have paid Lincolnshire Management north of
$100 million for Excelsior. Lincolnshire Management will remain a
stakeholder in the combined company.
The deal combines Triton�which provides a suite
of digital products and services to 1,000 radio stations�with
Excelsior�s syndicated programming, traditional radio networks (Dial
Global), and interactive business (MJI Interactive) across 2,000
The unique combination of assets enables Triton
to bring to the online space the traditional network-radio strategy
of aggregating inventory locally to achieve national reach.
To build out a digital network that can be
integrated with Dial Global�s traditional radio networks, Triton
proposes to convert its fee-based relationships with stations to a
barter arrangement for both on-air and online inventory. Integrated
packages are expected by early next year.
Days after the acquisition was announced,
Triton�s Mass 2 One Media, which provides a suite of online audience
engagement applications (social networking, text messaging and
loyalty/reward programs), inked a barter deal for on-air and online
inventory. The agreement was with The Content Factory, syndicators
of The Dan Patrick Show, and accompanying web site.
The market Triton envisions for integrated
on-air and online radio packages is wide open. Currently about 95%
of radio internet revenue is locally generated, but Neal Schore,
Triton�s president and CEO, sees a much larger marketplace. �As it
matures, we think it will be a 75/25 split. It wouldn't shock me to
see a 50/50 split, and grow to at least $5 billion in the next few
years,� he said.
�There hasn�t been a lot of opportunity in
network online,� said Matt Feinberg, senior vice president of
national radio for Zenith Media. �One of the concerns we have is
that they be able to control what they�re selling. A big part of it
is owning the assets. That�s why network radio hasn�t gotten into