GeoBroadcast Targets iHeart


The company trying to convince the FCC to change a rule that would allow radio stations to geo-target content and advertising to specific areas in their markets is calling out iHeart. Is it fair to be making this fight about iHeart? You decide.

GeoBroadcast Solutions has sent a letter to the Commission stating that allowing stations to geo-target content, including ads, would put radio on par with every other media platform.

Several radio companies, and The NAB, have come out in opposition to the rule change request. They say the limited testing done on the service gives them concern about possible interference, and, if the rule change is approved, it “would fundamentally alter the radio industry’s business model, drive down advertising revenues and complicate the purchasing of radio advertising.”

GeoBroadcast Solutions claims the biggest voice behind the opposition to their plan is iHeartMedia, but not for the reasons stated above. GeoBroadcast claims iHeart is objecting because iHeart’s AdBuilder platform is already targeting ads for advertisers. The letter to The FCC says “iHeart’s AdBuilder prompts new and existing advertisers to select communities, on a map, where they would like to target their ads as one of the first steps in the process of creating an ad. When an ad buyer creates their account, they are immediately asked: “Where do you want to reach people?” The letter goes on to get specific about how AdBuilder can help an advertiser geo-target their message.

GeoBroadcast says that in light of the service iHeartMedia is providing, the Commission should look skeptically on their opposition to their rule change request.

But iHeartMedia is not the only group opposed to this idea. The NAB states that “the vast majority of broadcasters” are in agreement that if The FCC approves this rule change it will almost certainly drive both advertising rates and revenue down as advertisers push to purchase geo-targeted ads. The NAB filed comments opposed HERE.

Connoisseur Media and Neuhoff Communications are also opposed to this plan (comments).
Urban One, Davis Broadcasting, Ohana Media Group and Riverfront Broadcasting are opposed. The Small Radio Broadcaster Coalition is opposed. There are several others as well.

While most broadcasters would agree that super-serving communities with great local content, and helping advertisers get customers through their doors is vital to their success, there is certainly less agreement on how to accomplish that plan.


  1. I can only guess iHeart is “geo-fencing” online and not over the air. The concept of “broadcasting” and “geo-casting” are two different animals. GeoCasting may have a great concept in localizing content, but will we see the big companies adding translators and staff to accommodate the additional effort required? Can we expect that the ROI on lower advertising costs can be made up by multiplying the potential number of different “spots” airing on a number of different translators simultaneously? Am I asking too many questions? “Experts” are suggesting “Total Line Reporting” to maximize Nielsen potential, and this flies in the face of that. Travelers from “zone to zone” will be confused and the possibility of interference (as referenced here) has got to be huge. Who’s gonna calculate the CPM on this one?

    • They’re not, and their online business model is not built around that kind of thing. It seems that this company is trying to get the FCC to force radio companies to use their system rather than allow a free marketplace.


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