- IHeartMedia, the largest owner of radio stations in the U.S., this week launched a custom advertising network aimed at marketers seeking to reach podcasting's growing audience, according to details shared with Mobile Marketer. The iHeartPodcast AdSuite offers a variety of ad formats and customization tools while promising better targeting and scale that doesn't impact the listener experience.
- IHeartMedia's dynamic and streaming ad insertion (DSAI) and local ad insertion (LAI) deliver ads to target audiences, and can be customized in real time to reach listeners. The platform's TakeOver ads provide the first ad placement in every iHeartPodcast on any given day.
- The media platform's Podfluencer advertising consists of host-read messages that are more integrated with podcast content, while its Storytellers ads are personalized for extended mid-rolls, custom episodes or fully branded series. In addition, iHeartPodcast Boost shares podcasts across among its media properties, while its AdSuite Insights provides an analysis of podcast listener data, including audience profiles and engagement metrics.
IHeartMedia's new ad suite looks to give mobile marketers more flexibility in their ad placements on its audio platform and more tools to measure campaign performance. The company aims to capture a greater share of the advertising dollars that are pouring into podcasting as the listening audience continues to expand on streaming platforms.
Ad spending on podcasts is forecast to grow 27% to $534 million in the U.S. this year, as the number of podcast listeners continues on a growth trajectory that will reach 164 million listeners by 2024, per data cited by Statista.
IHeartMedia is expanding its podcast platform to fuel growth amid a broad restructuring of its operations that started last month. The company, which owns more than 855 radio stations, recently began a round layoffs nationwide without disclosing how many people were cut.
IHeartMedia's expanded ad platform aims to keep apace with rivals like Spotify that are adding more ad insertion tools and ramping up their content selection. Spotify last month introduced a Streaming Ad Insertion (SAI) format that provides marketers data on ad impressions, ad frequency and reach, along with anonymized information about listeners' age, gender and device type. Beyond building out more robust products for brands, podcast providers are also looking to strengthen the type of content they offer, including through deal-making.
Earlier this month, Spotify acquired The Ringer, a podcasting and digital publishing startup focused on sports and pop culture. The deal, whose financial details were not disclosed, went for $250 million, Bloomberg reported, citing unnamed sources. The news followed Spotify's prior acquisitions of podcast producer Gimlet Media, podcast production platform Anchor and narrative-focused podcast studio Parcast.