Capital to introduce on-air sponsorship tracking system

LONDON - Commercial radio sponsors are to get state-of-the-art accountability as Capital Radio launches an on-air digital system to help advertisers track their on-air mentions and presenter credits.

The move means advertisers investing in editorial-based sponsorship and promotions can expect a similar level of accountability and transparency as they have in traditional spot advertising.

The innovative tracking system has been created by Capital Radio Group and British software firm Autonomy. It is designed to do for sponsorship and promotions what the computerised "proof of delivery" J-ET did for spot ad accountability, which matches spots scheduled with what is actually broadcast.

Sponsorship and promotions requires a different approach as it often involves unscheduled ad hoc presenter mentions, phone-ins and other spontaneous on-air credits.

Capital is using Autonomy's Radio Server technology to solve the problem through voice recognition software that "listens" to every second of a station's output.

The software is accurate enough to "hear" and record any pre-determined brand mentions or phrases as they are transmitted, whether scheduled live reads or ad hoc mentions. The system can even monitor guests' and listener phone-in mentions.

The system identifies words and phrases, whether spoken, sung or laid over music and irrespective of tone or accent. It can play back any length of station output either side of the on-air mention monitored, showing the advertiser how their campaign sounds in context.

Mike Hope-Milne, head of sponsorship and promotions at Capital Radio Group, said: "Autonomy's Radio Server technology has proved its worth in tests so far and will take accountability of advertisers' sponsorship and promotions to the next level. This is the first time any UK commercial radio station has offered such in-depth measurability and accountability for sponsorship and promotions content."

The software is initially being tested on the group's flagship station Capital 95.8FM in London. Capital expects to offer it in due course to advertisers on Capital Radio Group's four networks: Capital FM, Century FM, Capital Gold and Xfm.

Dr Mike Lynch, CEO and founder of Autonomy, said: "Radio Server is now delivering compelling return on investment to organisations across the entire industrial spectrum."

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