HPM in the Press & News

Sweeps Period, Election Season Squeeze Radio Ad Inventory - 1337661000

Many Advertisers Can Mitigate Impact by Looking to Mobile-Audio Platforms

PHOENIX (May 21, 2012) — The May sweeps period has brought nearly unprecedented demand for advertising time on radio as TV networks and stations try to pump up ratings for their shows. Though the sweeps end May 31, pressure on inventory is likely to continue due to a spike in political advertising during the election year.

“This May sweeps has been the single-largest television-sweep inventory purchase on radio that I’ve seen in nearly eight years,” says Peter Feinstein, president and CEO of Higher Power Marketing. “It is just off the hook!

“And with the primary and general elections on the horizon, political spending almost certainly will impact inventory the same way,” he says.

Feinstein is particularly sensitive to this trend, because HPM specializes in cost-per-action (CPA) advertising, also known as per-inquiry (PI), pay-per-lead (PPL) or direct-response (DR) advertising. Basically, HPM has relationships with media outlets and access to their unsold inventory of ad time or space. It fills voids with its clients’ ads. Clients aren’t billed for the placements; rather they pay based upon the number and/or quality of responses.

“The TV sweeps have dramatically impacted the sales volume for radio ads, which some would consider to be bad news because it takes up inventory that we would otherwise get on a per-inquiry basis,” Feinstein says.

But where others see gloom, Feinstein sees opportunity. He is advising HPM clients to manage this inventory crunch by looking to mobile media, where the inventory is virtually limitless.

“We have done a lot of leg work in trying to establish and expand our relationship with mobile media markets,” he says. “We have the capacity to run mobile audio on any number of different networks. We work aggressively several very large mobile audio platforms. These platforms can dominate marketplaces. Why would you not want to do that?”
It’s not a matter of abandoning radio, he adds, just a desire “to have something that will insulate us, and our clients, from the extraordinary valleys that are created in business when 50 percent of the inventory is taken up by sweeps or political advertising.”