iHeartMedia Launches SmartAudio Digital Sales Tool

iHeartMedia Dan Mason CBS Radio Senior AdvisoriHeartMedia has announced the launch of SmartAudio, a new sales tool to customize on-air advertisements via programmatic buying.

Utilizing digital data from iHeartRadio listeners and other sales tools, SmartAudio is intended to allow the company’s clients to custom target ads on a per-station basis. The example iHeart includes is that an ad can have one message to those in 85 degree weather in Los Angeles and another for New Yorkers dealing with a snowstorm.

iHeartMedia, the media and entertainment company with the largest reach of any radio or TV outlet in America, introduced its SmartAudio digital data advertising product, an added feature of its groundbreaking programmatic solution, last night at its “SoundFront” advertising industry event. SmartAudio leverages the power of iHeartMedia’s programmatic solution to help advertisers evaluate, plan and buy broadcast radio, enabling them to build innovative campaigns that target key audience segments.

With more than 850 broadcast stations across the country that reach a quarter of a billion listeners a month, industry-leading on-air personalities, digital assets including iHeartRadio, the all-in-one digital music, podcasting and streaming radio service, nationally-recognized live events; mobile; and social, iHeartMedia has the unique ability to offer a suite of advertising solutions and tightly integrated multiplatform campaigns to advertisers and provides them access to a national scale and reach unmatched by any other media outlet in the U.S.

SmartAudio provides brands with even more effective ways to reach their audiences. With SmartAudio, iHeartMedia can now mine its unparalleled digital data from more than 95 million registered iHeartRadio listeners, along with leading second and third-party digital data, consumer and behavioral resources and social networks, to create robust audience segment profiles –including Millennials, auto intenders, mothers and more. Advertisers will be able to utilize these enhanced profiles to select the best broadcasting schedules and methods to reach their targeted consumers. By utilizing the product’s capabilities, brands will receive the massive scale of broadcast radio and the targetability of digital. iHeartMedia has already developed more than 700 SmartAudio audience segment profiles, and will continue to create more based on advertisers’ requests.

SmartAudio also enables advertisers to use dynamic ad creative that utilizes real-time triggers such as weather, pollen counts, sports scores, mortgage rates and more to deploy different campaign messages based on what is happening in a specific market at a specific moment. Now, with radio ads, brands will be able to dynamically serve the most relevant message in each market at each moment just as they have done with digital to ensure increased relevance and impact. For example, advertisers can serve one message in Los Angeles when it’s sunny, a different message in New York when it’s snowing or even a different message in the same market later that day when the weather changes automatically without any back-end work on their part.

“Broadcast radio has the unparalleled advantage of real-time connection with consumers, giving the ability for advertisers to reach enhanced audiences at scale, and even tailor their creative messages for real-time,” said Tim Castelli, President of National Sales, Marketing and Partnerships for iHeartMedia. “We’ve been testing SmartAudio with some of the top brands and we’re already seeing additional impact for those using it. They’re able to leverage the product’s flexibility to decide which specific ad to run based on something as simple as whether the local sports team won or lost last night’s game.”

“SmartAudio allows us to easily sort through the millions of combinations of stations, shows, dayparts and markets, and hone in on the ones that best reach the audiences we care about,” said Seth Goren, Senior Vice President of Media Strategy and Analytics at Discovery Communications. “Combining the efficiency and scale of radio with data and advanced analytics of digital, moves iHeartMedia beyond the standard age and demo paradigm to create enhanced audience-based plans that drive real business outcomes for us.”

In April 2015, iHeartMedia launched its programmatic and automated ad buying solution for its broadcast radio stations, powered by cloud-based technology innovator Jelli. The company’s programmatic solution– branded SoundPoint – now features the SmartAudio product and is the foundation for iHeartMedia to offer its ad inventory to advertisers and agencies looking to leverage programmatic and automated technology, including private market place and exchange environments, improving the buying process and reducing administrative hurdles and delays.

“We launched our programmatic platform with the specific goal of bringing the best resources, unprecedented accountability and speed to our advertising partners,” said Castelli. “Industry response to our SoundPoint platform has been so well received that we’re now unveiling SmartAudio which allows audience segmenting and dynamic creative capabilities all in one planning and buying tool.”

SmartAudio is available now to all advertisers who want to utilize the power of broadcast radio to develop highly targeted campaigns that leverage the rich data sets only available via SoundPoint’s technology and analytics.

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Lance Venta is the Owner and Publisher of RadioInsight.com and a consultant for RadioBB Networks specializing in integration of radio and the internet. Lance has two decades of experience tracking the audio industry and its use of digital platforms.

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