iHeartMedia, a large media and entertainment company, on Wednesday announced plans to launch a programmatic ad platform for its broadcast radio stations.
Advertisers and agencies will be able to programmatically purchase ads across iHeartMedia’s 850-plus radio stations, though the company did not disclose exactly how of its inventory will be made available for automated buying.
As a result of the platform launch, iHeartMedia asserts, ad-buyers will be able to target broadcast radio ads directly to specific audiences, such as "music-basic psychographic groups," or tailor ads based on real-time trends, such as "weather and traffic patterns, purchase behavior and other environmental, population and consumer trends."
Programmatic technologies have been applied to the digital audio space -- most recently and visibly via Apple’s decision to extend programmatic buying options to iTunes Radio inventory -- and programmatic has existed in the broadcast radio world as well, but iHeartMedia’s plunge significantly increases the scale of the programmatic radio market.
"Programmatic is already an important and expected method of ad buying in the digital space. Now we can bring broadcast radio into that world,” stated Bob Pittman, chairman and CEO of iHeartMedia.
Horizon Media, ZenithOptimedia and UM are highlighted in a release as charter buy-side users iHeartMedia's programmatic offering.
To support the impending boost in scale, Katz Media Group -- a national sales firm representing over 275 radio broadcasters including iHeartMedia, Cumulus, Entercom, Cox Media Group and others -- has announced it will launch Expressway from Katz, a programmatic ad exchange for broadcast radio inventory.
“Expressway from Katz will deliver the capabilities and speed of automation and programmatic to all of our radio companies,” stated Mark Rosenthal, president of Katz Media Group. “It will give the entire radio industry an additional way to sell.”
Both the Katz ad exchange and iHeartMedia platform will be powered by Jelli, a programmatic radio ad tech provider.