iHeartMedia Brings the Programmatic Marketplace to Radio

iHeartMedia will now allow advertisers to purchase ads on its broadcast radio stations in a programmatic manner, giving marketers the ability to use data to better target their ad buys.

In collaboration with ad-tech company Jelli, iHeartMedia has integrated automated technology into the ad buying process for more than 800 radio stations. The new programmatic solution will allow marketers to serve targeted ads based on weather and traffic patterns, psychographic groups tied to a specific music genre, purchase behavior, and other environmental, population, and consumer trends.

For example, a snow tire company uses this technology to serve ads on radio stations across the mid-Atlantic region. Its ad copy describes the general benefits of snow tires. But if the weather forecast predicts an upcoming blizzard in the next week, the ad copy will automatically shift to include a call-to-action across stations, encouraging listeners to purchase snow tires because of the storm. Once the blizzard has passed, the ads will automatically shift back to the original ad copy.

And because of programmatic’s “real-time” nature, advertisers can also gain analytics and insights about what is actually happening with their radio ad campaigns.

Today, automated buying technology has been largely applied to traditional media such as TV, print and even digital. Its expansion to radio indicates that programmatic is becoming a holy grail for advertisers, according to Reagen Anderes, senior director of digital media solutions at agency Sq1.

“The promise of marketing today is to ‘target the right audience at the right time in the right place,’ and that is going to help us extend across all of our marketing initiatives. Generically we believe that programmatic buying is going to take over almost all marketing mediums. It started in the search arena, and then moved to display, social, and native,” Anderes says. “Traditionally, radio is a very rich medium, but it’s not real-time. With radio coming on board, it’s just highlighting the fact that programmatic buying or audience-based buying is the future. And that’s where marketing dollars are heading next.”

In addition to offering automated broadcast radio ads on its owned-and-operated properties, iHeartMedia plans to launch an industry-wide programmatic ad exchange called “Expressway from Katz” with Katz Media Group in 2016.

Image via Shutterstock.

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