IHeartMedia acquires tech company Jelli to boost programmatic advertising

Jelli joins iHeartMedia as the audio company invests in programmatic

Broadcast radio giant iHeartMedia announced today (19 November) that it is acquiring Jelli, bringing the programmatic platform in-house.

Jelli already powers iHeartMedia's programmatic real-time audio ad buying platform SoundPoint. According to a company statement, the acquisition will help advertisers better target key audience segments by leveraging the scale of iHeartMedia's broadcast stations, both digital and radio.

Brian Kaminsky, president of SmartAudio and analytics operations for iHeartMedia, said in a statement that Facebook and Google have disrupted the industry by improving "targetability" and the ease of buying.

"Our programmatic platform puts us in the position to participate in the modern data-driven ecosystem for our broadcast radio audience, as well as our digital audiences," said Kaminsky.

Bob Pittman, chairman and chief executive of iHeartMedia, added that Jelli is leading the company's adtech growth.

"Advertisers can now buy and use our broadcast assets, reach, and impact just as they use the major digital players. We now offer heavy data and heavy creative innovation all in one place. We are excited about having Jelli not only for the platforms they are creating and have created for us, but also to lead our aggressive and innovative ad tech development," said Pittman.

Jelli cofounder and chief executive Michael Dougherty said the partnership provides a single platform for advertisers to reach all audiences.

In March, iHeartMedia filed for Chapter 11 in the face of over $20bn in debt. The audio company purchased podcaster Stuff Media in September, its first major move since filing for bankruptcy.

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