iHeartMedia today announced the launch of a private programmatic marketplace for digital radio in the company’s iHeartRadio service. iHeart says this is the first programmatic platform of its kind in the U.S. The platform is powered by ad-tech company AdsWizz.
The ad inventory which supplies this new buying market comes from the 858 terrestrial radio stations which stream through iHeartRadio, and the pureplay internet stations which represent a substantial portion of iHeartRadio listening. The company refers to those two types of streaming as “live” (terrestrial) and “custom” (pureplay, seeded by the listener) stations.
Brian Kaminsky is President of Programmatic and Data Operations at iHeartMedia. He emphasized the complementary aspect of streaming-only programmatic with the direct sales efforts of iHeart’s national network of radio outlets: “Offering a programmatic approach to buying iHeartRadio’s digital listening audiences is a natural extension of our direct sales and broadcast programmatic initiatives and further enables us to capture even more of the $20 billion in ad spending that is projected for 2016.”
Alexis van de Wyer, CEO of AdsWizz, noted the demand for programmatic on the buy side. “iHeart‘s unique audience reach, its brand relationships and its appetite for innovation makes it a perfect fit to be the first [U.S.] digital radio private marketplace,” he said. “Their decision to launch a private marketplace is also perfectly timed as a growing number of agencies have been eager to start buying digital audio programmatically.”
iHeartRadio will bring to bear its extensive first-party datasets to assist advertisers in fulfilling their audience targeting goals. iHeart also partners with third-party data providers to round out the data picture. It is an increasingly established value of programmatic to deliver hyper-targeted delivery of advertising messages to receptive listeners. iHeartRadio serves 85-million registered users, and that registration info provides one basis for audience identification by zip, age, and gender (ZAG). AdsWizz serves a broad portfolio of audio publishers with advertising technology that can inject targeted marketing message into any type of digital audio.
iHeartMedia has placed large bets on programmatic. Last April the company partnered with Jelli to bring programmatic buying opportunity to the terrestrial side of iHeart radio stations. At the same time, iHeart-owned Katz Media Group also tied up with Jelli to create a programmatic solution that extends beyond iHeartMedia radio to the 4,000 stations represented by Katz.