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The Trend In Audio Advertising: There Isn’t One … Or Is There?

January 23, 2012

I got interested in audio advertising back around late 2007/early 2008 when a company called NetAudioAds made a brief stir in the online advertising world.  They pretty much crashed and burned, and I won’t get into all of that. (but a word of warning, if you visit their website: don’t bother.  The site is still live with all of their marketing copy but notice the Copyright 2008. It’s just a petrified fossil.)

But what ever happened to audio advertising?

Aren’t we hearing it all the time now? I listen to Pandora, and they’ve been running in-stream audio ads for at least the past year, probably two.  I know there are audio ad networks out there, hustling, making deals (Cf. Google News). But none of this seems to have trickled down to impact the b2b search space or the domain space as of yet.

I speculated on some audio advertising domains going back those four years ago, and have been holding many of them ever since: waiting.  And as I go over my renewals for the coming month I’m looking things over and making decisions about what to keep and what to sweep from the cutting room floor.

Of what I’ve got, here’s what I’m continuing to hold (indefinitely):

  • AudioAdServices.com
  • AudioAdTools.com
  • LocalAudioAds.com
  • AudioAdBlocker.com

I’ll be releasing the following domains:

  • AdultAudioAdvertising.com
  • AudioAdAffiliates.com
  • AudioAdSpace.com

These just seem too niche specific and too speculative for a trend that still hasn’t really picked up yet after all these years.

I’m on the fence about this one but I’ll most likely drop it as well:

  • TargetedAudioAds.com

If I thought the audio ad space was going to go somewhere in the next four years, I might be inclined to hold it, but what is the opportunity cost here?  I’m looking at a domain that I may have to hold for years more with no guarantee of payoff, whereas I could take that $32 + dollars in renewal over the next four years, and pick up a bargain domain on one of the forums, or put it toward a drop catch that has potential to yield something far greater in the more immediate future.

That is the danger in making speculative plays, something I’m much more cautious about now than in my early days when I was first getting started in domain investing.  Some things just don’t pan out.  It also costs time to keep up on these trends, study the news, and make that decision each year to hold or to fold.

But then we come back to the irony of this whole post: Audio ads **are** panning out, aren’t they?  I don’t know, otherwise what is it I’m hearing on Pandora and other places?  Maybe its just plain old ‘advertising’.  Or maybe 2012 is the cusp of when the trend may actually start to rise in terms of search volume and keyword interest. That would mean that you could pick up any of these names today and **maybe** see some kind of decent return within *the next* four years.  If I thought I knew, I wouldn’t have written this post.

This illustrates yet another point, which is: why there’s still opportunity in the domain market. Because times are tight, (I’m feeling it too), and people are forced to make decisions. It’s like having a stable full of racehorses.  I have limited resources and I want to invest only in those horses I foresee having the best shot to reach the finish line. Others will need to be cut loose, but some of those fillies may still have life in them and that creates opportunity for someone else.

So it goes.

Maybe this post will be helpful for any of you out there as you’re deciding what to hold and what to fold in the coming year..

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