Cumulus Media-owned Westwood One has partnered with iHeartMedia-owned Katz Expressway, a programmatic advertising exchange powered by tech company Jelli. The immediate result is that radio stations in major Cumulus markets have their commercial inventory in Expressway, available for automated buying. All Cumulus stations are expected to be participating by July. The announcement promises “full inventory.”
The alliance represents one of the largest adoptions of programmatic advertising by the U.S. radio industry.
This development is the continuation of a story that began two years ago, in April, 2015. At that time, iHeartMedia and Katz allied with Jelli to bring programmatic audio to thousands of radio stations across the U.S. Jelli CEO Mike Dougherty told RAIN News that with that agreement, radio was claiming “a seat at the table.” The other side of that table has national brand advertisers which are accustomed to the efficiency and audience targeting inherent to programmatic. One of the much-promoted values of programmatic for AM/FM is that it brings radio into cross-channel advertising campaigns that are organized, purchased, and validated in high-tech marketplaces.
“America’s prominent agencies and advertisers have clearly stated they want AM/FM radio to join the evolution towards programmatic,” said Rafe D’Amico, SVP, Sales for Cumulus and Westwood One. “Expressway from Katz and programmatic are key elements of our strategy to serve our clients’ needs. Cumulus/Westwood One is committed to improving how advertisers reach, engage, and influence target audiences.”
Cumulus Media owns 447 radio stations in 90 U.S. markets. Westwood One is affiliated with 8,200 stations representing 245-million weekly listeners via its sales and content syndication operations. Westwood One Spot Sales is the national spot platform for Cumulus.