Virgin Radio launches first ‘podcast’ advertising in UK

Virgin Radio, the Scottish Media Group-owned station, claims to be the first UK station to launch advertising on “podcasts”. The station is launching the Pete and Geoff breakfast show as a daily podcast, which will be sponsored by COI Communications and online travel agency Expedia.

Podcasting, which has already been launched in the US, allows listeners to download audio content from radio stations and listen to it at a later time. It is increasingly being used in the UK by brands looking for ways to advertise to users of MP3 players such as iPods.

Virgin Radio says that the deal, which was negotiated by OMD’s joint buying unit Opera, will demonstrate how radio stations can develop new revenue from offering their shows as downloads for the listeners of MP3 players.

The Pete and Geoff podcast will include the links from that morning’s show but will not include music, news, weather or traffic and travel information. It will include an edited version of the DJs’ conversation, as well as “podvertising” from COI and Expedia. Virgin will also offer users a free application to help them download new content automatically.

The launch comes just days after Virgin revealed that it will be available via 3G mobile phones and selected 2G services.

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