Internet radio advertising refers to the process of inserting advertisements into streaming radio available online. Most of these streaming radio sites offer their services for free, or for a very minimal fee compared to the amount of music that may be listened to. In exchange for this benefit, Internet radio advertising is often inserted onto the web site or in-between songs. It may take a few different forms; some companies simply include text or image based advertisements on their sites. Others include audio and video ads as well, that may play in between songs. The amount of advertising is generally correlated with the amount of music users may listen to on the site.
Owners of these web sites often find that Internet radio advertising in this way can be a very lucrative method, and that most web users do not mind some of the advertising while they are listening to music as long as it does not become too intrusive. Text and image based ads are some of the most common and least intrusive options. These are often found along the header or a sidebar of the page, and some may be targeted to the types of music the user prefers to listen to. Banner ads or other large images are common examples of this type of Internet radio advertising.
Audio and video ads are a type of integrated Internet radio advertising that are becoming more common, since it is much more difficult for users to block these types of advertisements on their web browsers. On many streaming radio sites, a video or an audio message will play in between a certain number of songs. For instance, a user may be forced to watch this advertisement after every five songs they listen to, or more frequently if they skip around the site a lot attempting to find different songs.
Some sites allow users to pay a fee and opt out of this Internet radio advertising. Ads still might be displayed on the site, but they will generally not be forced to listen to audio or video ads, and may have any listening limitations lifted. For instance, some sites limit the number of hours that users may spend listening to the radio per week or month, but paying a subscription fee will remove these limitations.