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Magnite Builds Marketplace That Unifies iHeart’s Digital And Broadcast Audio Ad Inventory.

Sell-side advertising company Magnite and iHeartMedia have launched a new marketplace that brings together the audio giant’s broadcast radio, streaming radio, and podcast ad inventory for inclusion in omnichannel programmatic media buys.

The new marketplace, built from a custom implementation of Magnite’s SpringServe ad serving technology, enables advertisers for the first time to use real-time-bidding to purchase audio ads from iHeart’s broadcast and digital audio inventory through a single activation channel, using a data-driven approach.

Real-time bidding is a subcategory of programmatic media buying in which ads are bought and sold in real time on a per-impression basis in an instant auction.

“With today’s consumers spending a third of their media time with audio, expanding programmatic’s access to iHeart’s audio assets is imperative for the industry,” Brian Kaminsky, Chief Data Officer, and President of Revenue Strategies for iHeartMedia, said in the announcement. “Not only are we expanding what role programmatic can play for advertisers, we are also improving the efficacy of their campaigns by allowing them to use real-time data to message their audience in the most engaging way possible, in an environment of trust and interest. We’re excited to expand our partnership with Magnite because they have proven expertise in programmatic and the ability to build technology fit for the unique needs of audio advertising to take its place in omnichannel.”

Magnite bills itself as the world’s largest independent sell-side advertising company. Publishers use its technology to monetize their content across CTV, online video, display, and audio channels. Ad agencies and advertisers use its platform to execute billions of advertising transactions each month.

“Establishing more direct connections within the advertising supply chain benefits both publishers and buyers and we’re proud to build technology to facilitate this for the largest media owners in the world like iHeartMedia,” said Sean Buckley, Chief Revenue Officer at Magnite. “We’ve worked closely with iHeartMedia to develop bespoke and new-to-market solutions for podcast and audio. Consolidated paths will continue to gain momentum and we look forward to continuing to pave the way in this effort.”

Senior management at iHeart has been talking publicly about their plans to bring real-time bidding to its 860 broadcast radio stations. “We're going to have the capabilities to do real-time bidding and programmatic on the broadcast side,” President and COO Rich Bressler said during an appearance at the Goldman Sachs Communacopia + Technology Conference last September. “If you look at broadcasters in general, whether they're video or audio, I don't think anyone else is going to have those capabilities out there.”

The new marketplace built by Magnite unifies all of the company’s audio inventory – broadcast and digital audio – in one marketplace for advertisers.

Agencies are giving the move a thumbs up. “The premium audio marketplace created by iHeart provides PMX clients with direct programmatic access to scaled, high-quality audio inventory,” said Jay Askinasi, CEO, PMX US and Chief Growth Officer at ad agency holding company Publicis Groupe. “As we expand our PMX Lift solution to connect across platforms, including audio, it will be important to have this combination of broadcast and digital assets and data to achieve better efficiency, control and analytics and drive greater value and insights for our clients.”

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