CBS Finds Vibes in SMS Advertising Deal

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According to a Reuters report, CBS Radio today will announce a deal to offer text messaging to listeners, in turn enabling a new service that the “eye network” said will help stations and their advertisers reach and interact with consumers.

The 41 station deal between CBS Radio, a unit of CBS Corp., and Vibes Media, provider of the iRadio Instant Response Text Messaging Platform, marks the largest text messaging deal in broadcast radio to date, according to Vibes.

Vibes has previously provided the platform to stations owned by Clear Channel Emmis Communications, Citadel Broadcasting Corp. and XM Satellite Radio.

“This is the first massive group deal. They’re not just putting their toe in the water. CBS is making a strategic commitment to this space and that speaks volumes,” said Jack Philbin, president and co-founder of Chicago-based Vibes, in a statement to Reuters.

Under the deal, listeners of 41 CBS Radio stations, including 25 in New York and Los Angeles, can participate in promotions and contests from anywhere via text messaging on mobile phones without the hassle of busy signals.

Vibes said the deal gives stations the ability to create customized promotions and enhanced advertising opportunities.

CBS, though, says that the deal is larger in scope, whereby listeners can now also text requests, shout-outs and votes using their phones. Along with the ability to customize promotions, stations can also use the platform to inform listeners to things like upcoming artist interviews or when local concert announcements are about to be made on the air.

As a result, radio operators will key listener data that can be relevant to advertising sales. Additionally, CBS says advertisers liked the fact that each message to the listener can be tagged with a “powered by” message, making each communication brand-specific.

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