Commentary

NextRadio To Personalize Radio Ads In Cars

Consumers will soon have an option to save an ad they hear on the radio with a push of a button on the steering wheel of their car. Paul Brenner, president at NextRadio, says the button will support a new type of personal, data-targeted advertisement in cars similar to those found while listening to ads on smartphones.

The custom-targeted ads rely on tons of data, some of which is collected by the car.

The first commercial version -- introduced at CES more than two years ago -- will debut in 2018. Brenner says it has been a long production cycle and a lot of work.

Data & Programmatic Insider:  Where do you see better use of data and programmatic media buying driving the radio industry?

Paul Brenner:  We are trying to apply the same innovation you've seen in the smartphone into the car. I believe there's a substantial change coming with Android Auto. Consumers will have much more say on what types of apps integrate into the car, similar to the way you do on your smartphone.

Data & Programmatic Insider:  Do these changes prompt a new media-buying model?

Brenner:  We are forging ahead on the smartphone, using the user to modify the media buying of radio, especially in cars. It will become more important in the car because that's where the majority of radio listening occurs. We're building systems that can be used to change the media-buying model.

Data & Programmatic Insider:  Is programmatic technology and data personalizing radio ads in the car the same way as on the smartphone?

Brenner:  Yes. There's a three-year cycle to build features into cars, and we've been working with a few automakers for about that long. The things we bring to market in 2018 have been in the works for a while. They are fully focused on using the data from the car for a better, more targeted experience. We're always aware to stay away from any driver distractions.

Any video, excessive or image-based ads will always remain difficult to make prominent. But [then there's] targeted audio or suggestive audio that prompts a driver to take an action like pushing a button on their steering wheel to save a commercial or call a phone number in the advertisement. Companies are starting to develop these types of advertisements, and we're part of those conversations. 

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