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Louis-Philippe Sutton: We Are Modernizing the Way Radio Markets Itself by Providing More Reliable Data, Available in Real Time

We are modernizing the way radio markets itself by providing more reliable data, available in real time. Our mission is to help regional radio stations compete with digital media by providing sales tools tailored to the needs of today’s advertisers.

For us, regional radio is now the only media in a community that offers local, live and reliable content. Their revenue comes largely from the advertising they sell on air and the competition for local advertising revenue is growing from social media. Broadcasters must adapt to this competition and that’s what StatsRadio helps them do.

Tell us about yourself?

I started in the radio industry in 2003 as a representative in Quebec City for Astral Radio, now Bell Media. In 2009, I created my own media agency with the goal of assisting advertisers in their ad buying.

That’s when I saw the gap between what radio was offering to advertisers and what digital media was delivering. So I saw the opportunity to create StatsRadio.

If you could go back in time a year or two, what piece of advice would you give yourself?

“Don’t underestimate the resistance to change.” Local radio ad revenue was fortunate or unfortunate to be less drastically affected than local TV ad revenue by digital media. The result was that many teams didn’t see that their advertisers were buying more and more ads on digital media.

I was often told, “Why change my approach, I just have to make more phone calls .” For some, the old way of doing things is often more comforting than learning to adapt, even if that old way is leading them down a cliff.

What problem does your business solve?

We make radio as sexy as digital media to local advertisers. With our tools a station can prove the performance of a radio advertising campaign in real time as well as a digital campaign.

What is the inspiration behind your business?

When I had my media agency I was in the best place to understand that radio was still being sold like it was in the 90’s with data that was no longer relevant to today’s advertiser.

While digital media was offering real-time performance data, radio was offering dated data. This gave me the idea to create a methodology to get real time performance for FM and AM radio.

What is your magic sauce?

We have successfully developed a unique methodology that combines traditional telephone and web panel surveys with online listening to give access to powerful sales tools even for regional radio stations that today are abandoned by the industry.

What is the plan for the next 5 years? What do you want to achieve?

Over the next 5 years we have a vision to modernize how radio stations interact with their advertisers. StatsRadio will move from a measurement company to a company that provides revenue for radio stations.

The growth of digital media competition has completely disrupted the way advertising is purchased. We will roll out the use of our follo.ca platform that will allow advertisers to interact and purchase with their local radio stations, as they do with digital media.

What is the biggest challenge you’ve faced so far?

We are dealing with a monopolistic market, so the industry is not used to questioning their choice of suppliers.

In addition, the radio industry is in a cycle of stagnation and little innovation has broken through in the last few years due to a great resistance to change. So we changed our strategy, targeting radio broadcasters where the teams are dynamic, where the owners are in expansion mode.

Our best clients are those who also have digital departments in their companies, they are more likely to understand the advertisers’ behavior in the modern world. Now we are looking to collaborate with broadcasters who are the most dynamic in the industry.

How do people get involved/buy into your vision?

If you are a radio broadcaster who wants to innovate the way you interact with advertisers. If your local sales have stagnated, if it increasingly difficult to recruit new advertisers, or if your sales team is no longer connecting with the younger business owners in your area. It’s time to contact us.

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