CANNES, FRANCE--iHeartMedia and WPP have launched a new content and research venture called Project Listen to develop new insights, planning and creative capabilities in audio.
The project was announced at the Cannes Lions Festival Monday.
The two companies said the project is designed to help brands better engage with consumers across all audio platforms: broadcast radio, digital streaming, podcasts, smart speakers and live events.
Consumer listening is at an all-time high, according to iHeartMedia research. It shows consumers are listening to audio content for an average of 17 hours a week, with millennials and younger generations listening the most.
This ramp up in listening is due to the rapid growth of digital streaming, podcasts, smart speakers and airpods, per iHeart research.
One element of the partnership includes a new creative audio studio at GroupM’s New York headquarters. There, clients and creatives across WPP will be able to experiment with modern audio marketing programs and work with iHeart and other producers on a series of pilots.
Also, a suite of iHeartMedia audience measurement and insight tools will be integrated with GroupM data and tools to develop new insights and measurement approaches, the firms said. Findings will be shared with clients and the industry.
A new Project Listen monthly podcast is making its debut in Cannes with plans for 18 episodes through 2020.
“Project Listen is about tapping into the scale of audio and moving from the traditionally transactional radio business to the future of audio advertising where insights and ideas lead the way to growth for brands,” stated iHeart CEO Bob Pittman.
“Consumers are listening more than ever, and we already know the power of music, voice and sound to create engaging and emotional human connections,” said Mark Read, CEO of WPP.
“As consumer behavior evolves, from the media they enjoy to how they relate to brands and make purchase decisions, it’s essential to have a modern approach to creative and strategy for all media, including audio,” he added.