iHeartMedia Is Bringing Programmatic Ad Buying To Its Broadcast Radio Stations

iHeartMedia is taking another step into the digital world — the company is announcing that businesses will be able to buy ads programmatically on its broadcast radio stations.

Basically, this means advertisers will be able to use automated, online tools to buy ads on iHeartMedia’s 850+ stations. (The company was known as Clear Channel before rebranding last fall and adopting the moniker of its online platform iHeartRadio.)

iHeartMedia will enable this programmatic buying through a partnership with ad-tech platform Jelli. It also plans to launch an industry-wide platform for programmatic ad-buying with Katz Media Group in 2016. The platform will be called Expressway from Katz.

There’s been a lot of talk recently about bringing programmatic technology to more traditional media — for example, TechCrunch-owner AOL is working on programmatic ads for TV.

iHeartMedia CEO Bob Pittman and COO President of Programatic and Data Operations Brian Kaminsky said this approach offers a number of benefits for ad buyers. For one thing, there’s the basic time savings of moving from a manual process to one that’s largely automated. For another, iHeartMedia can use data gathered online to target its broadcast radio ads.

Plus, this allows advertisers to create more adaptable campaigns. For example, Kaminsky said a mortgage lender could set up an ongoing campaign that only ran ads when the number of refinancings in a given geography hit a certain level, while Pittman suggested that a company selling insect repellant could trigger their ads when the pollen counts get high enough.

Lastly, they suggested that this will give advertisers more insight into the effectiveness of their campaigns.

“If you think about the ability to understand foot traffic, there’s no reason why the radio signal’s impact on that traffic pattern can’t be measured now as part of that closed-loop system,” Kaminsky said.