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Exploring the Present State of Online Radio: iHeartRadio

Exploring the Present State of Online Radio: iHeartRadio

When it comes to listening to your favorite music online, the landscape is always changing. As more people go online as a means to get their fill of their favorite tunes, the influence of streaming services continue to rise.

As we saw with the arrival of ads to voice-activated devices, audio platforms are ripe with opportunity for potential advertisers. In the final piece of our three-part series on online streaming services, all which are available through the Awlogy Total Audio Network, we take a look at the reach and audience using streaming service iHeartMedia.

iHeartMedia continues to expand digital offerings

Relative to its competition, iHeartMedia holds a unique advantage. The media giant formerly known as Clear Channel Communications has roots in traditional radio, owning more than 850 stations around the United States.

That coupled with its delivery of podcasts, customizeable music playlists and other audio content makes their iHeartRadio platform a major player in online streaming.

The platform has enjoyed steady growth since its launch in 2008. Just a few months ago, a major milestone was celebrated when the 100 million users threshold was hit. In December, on-demand streaming was added with the release of their own apps to compete with Spotify, Pandora and Apple Music.

Consumer research revealed iHeartRadio to be the second-most used online streaming service among Americans. And as far as demographics are concerned, iHeartRadio’s listeners are primarily  30-44 years old according to recent survey data. With a foundation in terrestrial radio, it’s no surprise that the iHeartRadio user base leans towards the older side of the spectrum relative to competitors like Spotify or Pandora.

Last year, iHeartMedia made moves by launching digital radio’s first programmatic private marketplace in the U.S. The marketplace has allowed buyers access to ad inventory on the company’s digital streaming service. Though their influence in digital continues to expand, they haven’t forgotten their roots. In fact, they’re figuring out ways to create synergy between their traditional and digital platforms.

Recently, iHeartMedia introduced SmartAudio, a new product for marketers to target consumers on broadcast radio. According to AdExchanger, it can use a host of data from iHeartMedia digital properties as well as from marketers’ CRM and third parties to “apply the fine targeting they're used to in digital to broadcast radio at scale”.

The data provided can help marketers build enhanced audience profiles which can then be utilized to select the best broadcasting schedules and methods to reach the potential consumers. In March, iHeartMedia had already created more than 700 audience segment profiles by the time of the ad product’s announcement.

With SmartAudio, iHeartMedia also gives brands a chance to serve ads dynamically in broadcast environments. Real-time triggers such as weather information can be utilized to send out a variety of ads based on what’s happening currently in specific markets. SmartAudio streamlines the process and requires no additional back-end work for advertisers.

Here is what Tim Castelli, President of National Sales, Marketing and Partnerships for iHeartMedia, had to say about the launch of the digital data advertising product:

“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. 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.”

 Do you have more questions about how you can optimize the use of iHeartRadio in your advertising strategy? Reach out to us and we’ll be happy to help.
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