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TargetSpot draws $8.6 million to compete on streaming-radio ads

The self-serve streaming ad company raises a second round of funding from Bain Capital Ventures and existing backers Union Square Ventures and CBS.

Streaming radio advertising company TargetSpot has drawn $8.6 million in new investment from Bain Capital Ventures and existing backers Union Square Ventures, CBS, and Milestone Venture Partners, according to the company.

The investment was the company's second round since its founding in 2007. TargetSpot was built by Union Square-backed company Oddcast for CBS Radio, but it became an independent company last year with seed money from Union Square and others.

In a relatively short time, TargetSpot has emerged as a challenger to Google. Based in New York, the company launched a self-service ad platform for streaming radio last year, and now the system is used by more than 500 radio stations, including CBS Radio. TargetSpot helps advertisers create audio, video, banner, or text ads, and then it targets those ads to a specific demographic, location, or radio station.

In late 2006, Google began testing a similar system that lets advertisers buy radio spots from the Web. Google's Audio Ads are based on technology it acquired when it purchased dMarc Broadcasting for $102 million. Roughly a year after they sold their company to Google, however, dMarc founders Chad and Ryan Steelberg left the search giant. Also around that time, word had it that Google was in talks to serve ads for CBS Radio, but that apparently didn't pan out.

According to Google's Audio Ads Web site, the company serves ads to 1,600 radio stations across the United States.

TargetSpot said it plans to use the funds to hire sales and engineering staff. Bain Capital partner Jeffrey Glass will join TargetSpot's board of directors.