IHeartMedia adds SmartAudio digital data ad product to its programmatic offerings

Tim Castelli, president of national sales, marketing and partnerships for iHeartMedia presents at the company’s SoundFront event / Matt Eisman for iHeartMedia

Media, entertainment and radio company iHeartMedia introduced SmartAudio, a digital data advertising product and an added feature of its programmatic solution, at its “SoundFront” advertising industry event.

SmartAudio leverages the power of iHeartMedia’s programmatic offering to help advertisers evaluate, plan and buy broadcast radio, enabling them to build innovative campaigns that target key audience segments, according to a release by the company.

IHeartMedia has over 850 broadcast stations across the country that reach a quarter of a billion listeners a month through its on-air and digital assets, including iHeartRadio, the all-in-one digital music, podcasting and streaming radio service and nationally-recognized live events.

With SmartAudio, iHeartMedia said it will provide brands with even more effective ways to reach their audiences, by mining 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 and mothers.

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.

“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.”

iHeartMedia executives pose with performer Halsey during the company’s SoundFront event at their New York headquarters. / Matt Eisman for iHeartMedia

SmartAudio also enables advertisers to use dynamic ad creative that utilizes real-time triggers such as weather, pollen counts, sports scores, mortgage rates and other factors 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, without any back-end work on their part.

Added Seth Goren, senior vice president, media strategy and analytics at Discovery Communications, said: “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. 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 programmatic product – 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.”

Kyle O'Brien

I am a reporter for The Drum covering a wide array of topics but always trying to tell the best stories possible. I am a former west coaster from California and Portland, Oregon, now living in Pennsylvania — with time spent in NYC each week.

I also play saxophone professionally.

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