Kantar Exec: Radio Political Revenue To Jump 10% to 20%


That’s according to Steven Passwaiter, the director-business development for Kantar Media’s Campaign Analysis Group. In an Advertising Age interview Passwaiter says that increase has a lot to do with how radio’s biggest company, iHeartmedia has set up shop in Washington this year, specifically targeting political campaigns and explaining how radio can target voters. iHeartMedia has a 10-person political team in D.C., and another 150 salespeople across the country all focused on political. Passwaiter says “By setting up shop here, and in a meaningful way, they are showing they are taking it seriously. There is no substitute for actually being here. They have put themselves in a good position to get a piece of all the money that’s going around.”

For years, radio has taken home peanuts of the political ad revenue pie. And iHeartMedia CEO Bob Pittman tells Ad Age that’s the fault of the radio industry. “Radio has never gotten its fair share of political spend, but a lot of that was our fault, because we tried selling what we had instead of what they needed. Campaigns should allocate 15% to 20% of broadcast budgets to radio or risk leaving some voters on the table. It’s not just that radio’s cost per voter impression is much lower, enabling greater frequency; radio’s flexibility also makes it easier to turn on a dime and pivot on key messaging whenever campaigns need it.”

Kenny Day is iHeartMedia’s Senior VP-political sales and strategy, recently joining team Pittman from ad-tech firm BrightRoll. Day says, “iHeartMedia can tell campaigns where moms are, where millennials are, where African-Americans are, across all formats and locales because the company now offers the data and tools to do just that. While this particular election will end in November 2016, we are taking a much broader and longer term view: there are elections taking place all the time across the country — judgeships, gubernatorial, House and Senate, local statehouse elections, local and national ballot initiatives and more.”


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