From Digital to Broadcast Radio. iHeart Media’s Creative Data Initiatives Revealed at the Secret Society

“Data is all about interpretation,” according to Mitch Oscar USIM’s Director, Advanced Television. His efforts to progress the discussion and implementation of data in our industry have been a cornerstone of his Secret Society mission. The June 2016 meeting, held at comScore / Rentrak offices, highlighted those data initiatives that pushed the uses of digital data sets and their insights into traditional media platforms. 

It was at that meeting that Brian Kaminsky, President Programmatic and Data Operations, iHeartMedia, revealed how they took digital data, mined it for insights and applied those insights to their broadcast radio viewers to expand knowledge of that group and use it for branding, marketing and sales purposes.

iHeart Media - Digital Data to Broadcast Radio
Kaminsky explained how his company added a digital DMP and ad serving system and used the insights gathered on digital uses to infer the behaviors of their broadcast radio viewers. With over a quarter of a billion monthly listeners in the U.S. and over 85 million social followers, iHeartMedia has the largest reach of any radio or television outlet in America. It serves over 150 markets through 858 owned radio stations,” he explained. “By leveraging iHeartRadio user database associated with those digital extensions in combination with data from social platform APIs and other third party vendors, our data science team is able to express iHeartRadio terrestrial broadcast station’s audiences with the same type of data and insights normally associated with digital marketing,” he added.   

Kaminsky’s goal was to get people to use broadcast differently by using deeper level of consumer insights from digital. “We needed a DMP to make output actionable and make the consumer come to life,” he said. The result was the creation of data segmentations, the planning against those segments and then used the data to make radio optimizable on a market by market basis. “We also took data, matched it to social behavior, brought in third party data, normalized it and brought it into the iHeartRadio map. We intend to create a series of private marketplaces for iHeartRadio,” he concluded.

Radha Subramanyam, President of Insights, Research and Data Analytics for iHeartMedia, sees great opportunity with this initiative. She said, "It is incredibly exciting when you can deliver the deep insights and precision of digital media with the scale of broadcast media. Advertisers can optimize campaigns against their targets yet reach enough people to truly have an impact. Targeting at scale is the next big leap forward in the application of data."

For Oscar, the opportunity to showcase a range of data initiatives worked not only for the assembled attendees but also for the industry at large. The four presenters at this Secret Society meeting ranged from iHeartRadio (applying the precision, data and insights of digital and social to broadcast) to Sinclair Broadcasting (using programmatic techniques for the delivery of the primary audience guarantee as well as the equally important secondary target)  to 4Cinsights (providing Coca-Cola with a better understanding of how it could reach its unique target) to Roku (demonstrating the value of timely registration information of its OTT/ cord cutting/ cord-nevers growing subscription population). Future meetings will continue to explore the creative use of data for extraordinary targeting capabilities.

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