Video may end up saving the radio star, after all: Portland-based digital music startup Vadio has come up with a way to turn any radio station into a MTV-like feed of music videos, complete with DVR-like catch-up functionality. Radio stations across the globe love it, and are lining up to partner with Vadio. The latest one to join: Virgin Radio Italy.
Vadio’s idea is actually pretty simple: The company is partnering with radio stations to get real-time access to song titles as they air. Vadio’s player, which is embedded on the station’s website or made available through mobile apps, then pulls in the music video for the song in question on the fly from Vevo or YouTube by using the YouTube API.
The result is a curated list of music videos that mirrors what’s playing on air, with the added benefit that Vadio keeps a list of videos that previously aired, allowing users to go back and watch songs that played half an hour ago. It’s kind of a neat experience, and Vadio co-founder Bryce Clemmer told me during an interview this week that music fans seem to like it: Radio stations that have started to use Vadio are seeing users tune in from 1.5 to 4 hours, he told me.
The company already has deals with a number of radio networks, and Virgin Radio joined earlier this week. Vadio now wants to grow that footprint, and also offer radio stations ways to make the music video stream even more engaging. For example, it is looking into mixing the stream of videos with live DJ commentary.
The company isn’t really looking to monetize its video player yet, but Clemmer said that there are a number of options available down the line. What if, he asked, a radio station could not only stream audio ads but also display video ads with higher CPMs online?
Vadio was founded a year ago, and the team of eight has raised a $750,000 Angel round from Rogue Venture Partners, Founder’s Co-op and a number of angel investors including former Google VP Dean Gilbert and William Morris Endeavor music head Marc Geiger.