Marketron Moves Into Mobile Space

Inside Radio, Frank Saxe

The convergence of media platforms is not only impacting content providers, but also the vendors that serve them. The latest example comes from traffic and billing software provider Marketron which has just struck a deal to buy mSnap, the largest broadcast-based mobile advertising network in the U.S. The mSnap platform will be integrated into the Marketron Exchange software, which will help stations more easily integrate mobile into on-air and digital schedules.

Marketron CEO Steven Minisini tells Inside Radio the deal is a "natural extension" for the 41-year old company. "Given the vast penetration and growth of mobile, there is tremendous value for media companies that recognize the advertising opportunities," Minisini says. ZenithOptimedia projects mobile ad dollars will grow from $3.1 billion in 2009 to $28.8 billion in 2014. mSnap CEO Tim Favia will remain with the company, which he says will gain "significant scale" by being under the Marketron umbrella. The mobile platform comes with a large built-in customer - mSnap has a group deal with Citadel covering all its stations and Citadel Media.

The move into the mobile space also gives Marketron a way to grow its business. Last year, 80% of advertising dollars placed in radio flowed through one of Marketron's products. That gives the company about a 70% share of the traffic and billing software market, a figure which would be larger if Clear Channel, CBS Radio and Cumulus - each of which has their own system - are removed from the equation.