EBay to broker radio ads

eBay is entering the radio ad brokering market, becoming a rival to Google Inc

EBay is getting into the radio advertising business, becoming a broker of ad spots and on its way to competing with Google, which provides a similar service.

The new service will go live on Wednesday as part of the eBay Media Marketplace, it said in a statement Tuesday.

The radio ad brokerage service will be powered by Bid4Spots. Advertisers and ad agencies can register on the eBay Media Marketplace Web site now.

The service will make available "prime" inventory from more than 2,300 radio stations.

Like Google, eBay will use the Internet to attempt to improve the way these radio ads are bought and sold, and the way radio marketing campaigns are tracked and analyzed. Google officials have said repeatedly that the company is confident it can use Internet technology to improve offline advertising transactions, not only in radio, but in print publications and television.

The eBay Media Marketplace also has a component for brokering cable TV ads, but it is designed for major national advertisers to make planned ad purchases. That cable TV ad service hasn't achieved much popularity yet.

The radio service, on the other hand, offers more flexibility, so that advertisers can make "last minute" ad purchases, eBay said. This in turn will let radio stations be more aggressive in pricing, it said.

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