Point of purchase radio expands its reach
AirServ adds shopping centres as advertisers chase consumers in ‘active buying mode’
Enda Murphy: "If you're walking through a shopping centre and there's a three or four-minute ad break, it's not the best."
AirServ, which runs bespoke “point of purchase” radio stations, has added eight shopping centres to its client list and is in talks to get its service into the stores and forecourts of a major fuel brand, as well as a number of UK outlets.
The company, founded by radio presenter and advertising professional Enda Murphy, has attracted advertisers including Specsavers, Titanic Belfast and Bewleys Hotels to its stations, which operate a “no clutter” policy of running just one commercial between songs.
“If you’re walking through a shopping centre and there’s a three or four-minute ad break, it’s not ideal,” says Murphy, who is confident that he can persuade more advertisers of the benefits of targeting consumers in “active buying mode”.
AirServ is in situ in centres including the Square in Tallaght, Whitewater Shopping Centre in Newbridge and Parkway Shopping Centre in Limerick. It also sells ads for the versions of Classic Hits 4FM that play in two Dublin Airport café bars. The company’s revenue comes entirely from the ads it sells, while 10 per cent of its turnover goes on music licensing fees.
All songs on AirServ stations “are original compositions by original artists”, rather than the Tesco approach of playing their own facsimiles of pop tracks (albeit ad-free). These cover versions save the supermarket chain a small fortune in artist performance royalties, which are charged by the square foot, notes Murphy.
It does leave shoppers with that disappointed “karaoke” feeling, however. “I’d love to get in front of Tesco and tell them they could play real songs.”