iHeartMedia has partnered with WPP on a new venture called Project Listen. The audio advocacy project will help brands to engage with their consumers and to provide insights, planning, and creative services in audio. Project Listen will cover audio delivery formats including broadcast radio, digital streaming, podcasts, smart speakers, and live events.
The venture will include a creative audio studio at the New York City headquarters of advertising media company GroupM. The facility will let clients and creatives from WPP to experiment with audio marketing programs. iHeartMedia will integrate its Smart Audio Insights and other audience tools with the proprietary data and tools from GroupM for new analysis and measurement systems. A related audio certification program for planners at GroupM agencies is due to roll out later this year. Finally, Project Listen will host a new monthly podcast that shares lessons from client pilots and research across 18 planned episodes.
“At iHeartMedia, we understand the unparalleled power of audio and its ability to engage and make brands part of the daily conversation, with consumers of all ages, at a massive scale,” iHeartMedia Chairman and CEO Bob Pittman said. “Project Listen is about tapping into the scale of audio and moving from the traditionally transactional radio business to the future of audio advertising where insights and ideas lead the way to growth for brands. Simply put, audio is the biggest greenfield for growth in media today, and we could not be more excited to partner with the talented teams across WPP to develop the tools and skillsets needed to unlock that growth.”
“Consumers are listening more than ever, and we already know the power of music, voice and sound to create engaging and emotional human connections,” WPP CEO Mark Read said. “As consumer behaviour evolves, from the media they enjoy to how they relate to brands and make purchase decisions, it’s essential to have a modern approach to creative and strategy for all media, including audio.”