Entercom CEO looks to programmatic in earnings call

david fieldDuring Entercom’s earnings call yesterday, CEO David Field responded to analyst questions about programmatic advertising. The topic did not arise during Entercom’s prepared statements. As with the Radio One call we summarized yesterday, it was investors on the Entercom call who led the conversation toward programmatic. Again, the new iHeartMedia programmatic platform appeared to be driving investor interest.

David Field’s remarks showed a positive leaning toward the growth potential embodied by programmatic:

“It needs to be done properly and I think that it will be done properly, but the potential for programmatic and radio is great and I think there are several reasons for that. Number one, it will make radio easier and simpler to buy, which is a great virtue and something which has been a hindrance to radios growth in the past, so that’s a great thing.”

Field also recognized the cross-category advantages of being in the programmatic marketplace where advertisers buy video and display:

“I think it elevates radio from a competitive standpoint. We all know that radio’s usage is massive and reach is massive and I think it will enable us to compete more effectively toe-to-toe in a data driven environment with television, with digital and with other media and that of course bodes well.”

Programmatic buying and selling sometimes generates fear on the sell side, that human resources will no longer be needed, or their value will be reduced. David Field squarely opposed that idea:

“I think there’s some misunderstanding on this point. I think it elevates the role of being an account executive in radio and whether you’re on the local or national side, I think it will elevate the art of selling and will lead to conversations that are much more focused on marketing and the power of great ideas and truly selling the value of certain brands and certain products as opposed to so much time being spent on processing information which is a reality in the current marketplace.”

Brad Hill