A Radio Broadcaster’s Ad Insertion Elevation, Thanks To StreamGuys


Monetizing a radio station’s audio streams is something nearly every ownership group and mom-and-pop licensee strives for in today’s digitally focused media universe. For privately held Dick Broadcasting Co., which owns stations Greensboro-Winston Salem and Greenville-New Bern, N.C.; Myrtle Beach, S.C.; and Midway-Savannah, Ga., shifting to ad insertion services offered by a streaming technology pioneer has paid off.


DBC, which operates a total of 19 radio stations in the Southeast, says it “quintupled” its monthly ad revenue since amplifying its revenue generation through  StreamGuys’ programmatic advertising services.

The technology allows for the automatic filling of unsold inventory in advertising pods and stop sets for live audio streams, and for on-demand podcasts.

Additionally, signing on with StreamGuys gave DBC stations’ streams the ability to add midroll placements to the mix. This, says StreamGuys, required a structural change to how ads were distributed.

“Nielsen had long required Dick Broadcasting to faithfully simulcast their over-the-air streams due to how they reported FM ratings in their markets,” said Tyler Huggins, Director of Advertising at StreamGuys. “That limited the customer to preroll ads, which while effective also limits revenue opportunities for stream monetization. We effectively split their streams into in-market and out-of-market streams, which allowed us to insert midrolls within the latter.”

StreamGuys offers a “waterfall system,” Huggins added. This prioritizes direct sold campaigns first, then programmatic fulfillment from its network of advertisers. If neither has an impression to serve, StreamGuys returns the opportunity to Dick Broadcasting to place an unsold promo. StreamGuys manages the entire process, from server-side ad insertions to revenue payouts. “Dick Broadcasting communicates open inventory, and we manage all campaigns, advertisers and invoices,” Huggins said. “We also work with their app developer and web team to pinpoint geographic data, which helps us precisely pinpoint where listeners are located. That finite data helps us make decisions on whether a listener is inside or outside the market, and which ads to serve.”

Dick Broadcasting also uses StreamGuys’ SGrecast service to create podcasts and side streams from live radio shows, which StreamGuys also automatically inserts ads within.

Additionally, StreamGuys hosts and delivers all of Dick Broadcasting’s streaming content, using StreamGuys’ enterprise CDN to deliver live and on-demand content to websites, apps and smart speakers among other consumer receive points. The result is a turnkey streaming service that DBC says has reduced costs, streamlined internal labor, and increased revenue.

“We are lucky to have very dedicated audiences for our streams, many of which live outside our geographic FM footprints,” said Taylor Dick, Vice President of Finance and Strategic Analysis for Dick Broadcasting Company. “We found that we were carrying substantial costs to operate our streaming infrastructure and serving ads that were meaningless to many of our listeners. The costs of our streaming infrastructure is lowered while we are effectively creating zones that allow us to serve ads of interest to out-of-market listeners. We can now offer a better listening experience for our entire streaming audience while substantially increasing our revenue through a programmatic service that requires no heavy lifting from within.”

— With reporting from Brian Galante


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