In addition, advertising revenue for online radio remains minuscule compared with terrestrial radio. U.S. radio online ad spending was just $600 million last year, compared with $15.3 billion for broadcast radio, according to eMarketer. But eMarketer projects that the online share of radio ad dollars will grow rapidly, from 3.8% of the total in 2010 to 8.5% by 2015.
Industry veterans give Agovino and Schore a lot of credit for trying to compete in the still-evolving world of online radio.
"They remind me of what we were like back in the 1980s," said Thom Ferro, who was a senior executive at Westwood One for 22 years before becoming president of Broadway Entertainment, a producer of radio and television programs in Santa Monica. "They succeeded the old-fashioned way. They work hard. They're honest. And they super-serve their clients. But they're also embracing the digital era, and they're figuring out how to make it work."
The same year Schore and Agovino decided to launch Triton, a newly published book, "Blue Ocean Strategy," posited that companies can succeed by creating their own markets rather than scramble for share in existing markets.
"It resonated with us because we felt there was so much uncharted water out there," Schore said. "We wanted to be the ones to build the services and technology to help the industry, rather than just compete for existing territory."