Video Ad Platform Zefr Tunes In To SoundCloud

richVideo branding and YouTube rights management platform Zefr – the brainchild of entrepreneur Rich Raddon, who sold the streaming video company he co-founded, Movieclips, to Comcast’s Fandango last year – is setting its sights on audio app SoundCloud.

“SoundCloud is now partnering with us to understand the fan activity that’s going on on the platform,” said Raddon of a new partner deal revealed Wednesday. “We’ll give them insights and data surrounding [fan] uploads through our tech stack.”

While Raddon wouldn’t speak specifically to SoundCloud’s monetization plans, the audio distribution platform will slowly roll out sponsored tracks, mobile display ads that appear intermittently when users skip songs and 30-second audio ads skippable at the 15-second mark. A crucial part of its monetization strategy will be zeroing in on how fans interact with recording artists and platform creators.

SoundCloud, which reaches 175 million unique listeners monthly, claims more than 12 hours of music and audio are uploaded to its platform each minute.

With that platform growth, the company rolled out On SoundCloud last summer, SoundCloud’s creator partner program and first foray into paid advertising. Similar to YouTube’s work with creators, SoundCloud started to enable artists and creators to collect a cut of the revenue from ads sold against their tracks. 

While Zefr’s legacy is video and its products helps brands like Adidas and agencies like Starcom find targeting and brand amplification opportunities on YouTube, Raddon is carrying on the family tradition by entering the music world. (Raddon’s brother is the popular American deejay, DJ Kaskade.)

He sees opportunity to provide better audience insights for brands, something music-streaming apps like Spotify have explored by building profiles based on listening activity.

“Why is it when you interject a fan into the publishing of content, it amplifies that content?” Raddon said. “People interact with SoundCloud differently than the way they would a video platform, but what it does have in common with YouTube is there’s this enormous amount of content being uploaded and you go and search actively for content you’re looking for.”

Raddon sees coming convergence between mobile and desktop video and audio advertising, particularly with radio natives like NPR entering the fanfare of spring TV upfronts.

The difference between traditional media and a platform like SoundCloud is that it allows fans to be involved and upload content as opposed to a pure publisher push, Raddon said.

This allows the fans to be an active participant both in the distribution and sometimes creation of content, which can complicate things from a monetization perspective: What’s worth more, branded or user-generated content?

It’s a question Zefr hopes to answer.

“We’ll begin to identify content and start reporting on data and metrics that will help the platform and brands understand what’s driving that engagement,” Raddon said.


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