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.”