iHeart Launches Analytics Attribution Service


In a perfect world, every radio advertiser would be able to pop up a dashboard on their PC, tablet, or smartphone and watch, in real time, how their advertising campaign is performing. That’s one of the reasons advertisers are flocking to Facebook and Google, and many have said once we can do that it will change the way they consider radio. iHeartMedia is the one company moving the radio industry closer to that reality.

On Thursday, iHeart launched iHeartMedia Analytics, a fully-digital attribution service for radio. The company hopes the new service will transform the way advertisers plan, buy, and measure their audio campaigns to better optimize radio’s reach. For years, iHeart radio stations and personalities have been promoting their digital platforms, not worrying at all about pushing them off the radio and onto a digital device. That has helped the company learn more and more about its listeners and gather data advertisers want. And by leveraging the data from iHeartRadio’s digital ecosystem, iHeartMedia will now enable broadcast radio to measure and show results in the same way as digital media, giving advertisers easy access to state-of-the-art campaign performance insights.

iHeart says its new service will allow advertisers to track audience reach, branding metrics, and even sales outcomes for iHeartMedia radio campaigns in real time by using data science to fuse information about its digital audience, with broadcast ad logs, on-air programming, and commercial content. Advertisers will also have the ability to measure a radio campaign’s impact on a brand’s website visitation, social media engagement, physical foot traffic, and more.

You all know the drill. The radio executive talking points are: radio is undervalued, radio is the number one reach medium, radio is the first-ever social medium, radio is punching below its weight class. The problem has always been proving that (SEE RADIO INK’S ADVERTISER SUCCESS STORY SERIES HERE). Advertisers want proof, and they expect it instantly.

R.O.I. studies are nice, but they are after the fact, and there has been no clear increase in revenue for the industry from the many R.O.I. studies that have been touted over the past several years. The ultimate goal is to provide advertisers with that dashboard so they can easily monitor real-time performance and results of their campaign. And iHeartMedia is the company that appears to be the closest at getting radio there.

iHeartMedia President of Revenue Operations Brian Kaminsky said, “We continue to see advertisers spend money on less-effective mediums simply because they provide a perceived level of measurability and accountability. Now marketers will be able to capitalize on the unmatched scale and reach of iHeartMedia’s more than 270 million monthly broadcast listeners, and receive the same kind of innovative real-time measurements, insights, and custom reporting they are accustomed to getting from digital media, quantifying the full power of radio. In addition, they can get attribution information that is missing from most of the digital marketplace.”


  1. December 11, 2018 at 2:58 PM

    LeadsRX, Analytic Owl and other web traffic systems use an 8-10 minute window (after an ad plays) to credit that ad for driving the web visit. Think about it folks: per RAB, 75-84% of broadcast radio listeners are DRIVING, which means they cannot visit a website immediately OR within a 10 minute window, if they are in the middle of their commute.

    However if the radio listener is invited to dial #250 and say the brand keyword, they DO connect, and Radio gets the credit / attribution. Luckily, #250 is part of the iHeart Analytic Suite!


    Unique 800#s do not provide accurate attribution in DR radio — because if folks cannot remember (or dial them while driving) then listeners either don’t dial them, or go to Google (which means Radio loses credit for driving the lead). Not only that, but your prospects get exposed to competitive offers!! So even if they do remember to visit your URL later, you might actually be driving sales to the competition.

    This is the single biggest contribution iHeart has made since converting 60 sec. spots to 30s and successfully doubled the inventory from 18 units an hour to 36! with NO additional clutter.

    BECAUSE OF THAT, the smart people at iHeart have payed off their debt and have become an incredibly profitable radio operation.

  3. The TRUTH inside this poorly written article is:
    “Return On Investment studies over the years shows NO CLEAR INCREASE IN REVENUE.”

  4. Underwhelmed!

    Isn’t a Dashboard nothing more than a real-time R.O.I study? AND IF, R.O.I studies show no clear increase in revenue, How does this help?
    Unless radio advertising works, the only thing this iHeart dashboard will do is speed the cancelation and assure the advertiser that they are making the right decision.
    Thanks iHeart.

  5. Rod,
    Qualitative data isn’t “content of the message.” Qualitative data is an analytical assessment of socioeconomic research on listeners. It may help form the basis of the message predicated on income, education, etc. But, it is not the message itself.

  6. Exciting news for sure. iHeartMedia is clearly taking the leadership role in driving analytical insights, and the winners will be their clients. Attribution is indeed the game changes marketers have been craving. We (https://leadsrx.com) have been working on digital attribution for a few years now and know first-hand how important it is to be able to calculate the return on ad spend. Once reliable analytics kick into the equation, marketers can move forward with greater confidence allocating ad spend effectively.

  7. Fascinating. Look forward to seeing how this plays out. A lot of variables exist in every advertising equation; and quantitative data (reach, frequency, demographics) are often less useful than qualitative data (content of the message). If iHeart has found a way to measure and sync the variables to provide substantial and reliable real-time feedback on radio advertising, it will be a game changer.



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