Iheartradio family app

iHeartMedia Launches iHeartRadio Family App Targeting Kids

What Happened
iHeartMedia is expanding its brand to reach an underserved audience segment – kids. Today, the radio conglomerate launched iHeartRadio Family, a stand-alone iOS and Android app that features a variety of stations with content curated for children ages 4 to 11. This marks iHeartMedia’s first big launch outside the core iHeartRadio app. Looking for launch partners that fit with the family-friendly positioning, the company struck a partnership with children’s retailer Build-A-Bear Workshop, which will get its own branded radio station in the new app.

What Brands Need To Do
iHeartMedia describes the new family app as its first “multi-app brand extension,” which opens the door for more iHeartRadio apps targeted at specific audiences in the future. Its partnership with Build-A-Bear at launch showcases how brands with a specific target audience, be it kids, nerds, or stay-at-home moms, can team up with those interest-based emerging digital channels to effectively reach the right audience with brand messages.


Source: TechCrunch

Header image courtesy of iHeartMedia’s promotional image

NFL Brings Real-Time Broadcasts To Internet Radio TuneIn

What Happened
The NFL has become the latest sports league to broadcast their content via Internet-based audio services. On Sunday, the NFL announced a partnership with TuneIn, which will carry daily coverage of NFL games through its $7.99-per-month premium subscription. Previously, NFL’s live audio broadcasts were only available on Westwood One radio network and satellite radio service SiriusXM. TuneIn boasts 60 million monthly active users, and this new partnership will no doubt increase the reach of the NFL’s audio content, while helping TuneIn to sell more subscriptions. Previously, the MLB stroke a similar deal with TuneIn in August.

What Brands Need To Do
Branded audio content typically gets distributed as free podcasts. For instance, ESPN publishes several podcasts per day on its website to update fans on sports results, whereas Chanel has a catalog of branded podcasts on fashion news available via the iTunes store. This NFL-TuneIn deal provides a new example of how brands can distribute and monetize their audio content. According to Pandora, Millennials today spend 4 hours per day consuming audio content. Brands with premium audio content, such as live media events or sports, should consider broadening their reach with similar partnerships with popular OTT audio services.


Source: The Verge

Pandora Now Lets Brands Sponsor Hour-Long Listening

What Happened
Pandora has officially rolled out to all advertisers its “Sponsored Listening,” which it first started testing last fall. The new ad format prompts listeners to watch a branded video or click on a rich media ad in exchange for one hour of ad-free listening. Compared to more “native” audio ads, this ad unit seems disruptive to the user experience. Pandora claims that in pilot testing, those ads boosted purchase intent by 30% and brand awareness by 12%.

What Brands Should Do
If your brand is looking to reach the younger, streaming-heavy demographics, it may be worth your while to consider the kind of value exchange that “Sponsored Listening” presents: disrupt the audience to catch their full attention with the promise of a disruption-free experience later on. The lesson for brands here is that, if you want to cut through the clutter and engage with your audience, then you have to offer them some incentives to capture their attention first.


Source: AdWeek

Header image taken from Pandora Advertising

Music Streaming War Heats Up As Google Music Launches Ad-Supported Free-Tier

Read original story on: AdWeek

Merely one day after the music industry was consumed by the brilliant co-promotional spectacle orchestrated by Taylor Swift and Apple Music, Google hijacked the headlines with a surprising launch of a free, ad-supported tier of its $9.99 per month Google Play Music streaming service. Less like Spotify and closer to Pandora, this new free tier will not allow users unfettered access to specific songs on demand, but rather offers curated playlists and algorithm-based radio channels.

Obviously, when it comes to competing for ad dollars, Google has one great advantage over its competitors—the vast amount of user data. Both Pandora and Spotify have worked to add better targeting options, but they pale in comparison to Google’s trove of data from search and email unified under a login account. Back in early 2012, Google specifically modified its privacy policy to allow for user data to be shared across the various products and services it provides. If Google can deliver a highly customizable ad unit that leverage the data it harnessed into targeting tools, which they probably will, this free version of Google Play Music just might grow into the next great ad platform for brands and advertisers alike.

Radio Killed The Podcast Star

Read original story on: AdWeek

At its first ever “Soundfront”, iHeartMedia pitched a dozen original podcast programs to radio ad buyers, citing the recent breakout hit podcast “Serial” as evidence of the format’s rising prominence. The 12 podcasts will run on iHeartRadio’s app, iHeartMedia websites and possibly some of the media giant’s radio stations, and some will be hosted by celebrities, such as Jared Leto and Jaime Pressly.

The radio behemoth is also teaming up with Snapchat to push a social marketing campaign on the latter’s platform as an effort to reach the younger audiences, who typically choose music streaming over radio, but also make up the mainstay of podcast audiences.

How Pandora’s New Feature Can Help Artists And Brands

Read original story on: Re/code

Popular Internet radio service Pandora is launching a pilot test this week that will allow music artists to send personalized audio messages to the listeners, which the company foresees will be used to plug upcoming tours and new albums, or simply to provide context on a particular song.

More interestingly, the company also mentioned its plan to make this new Artist Audio Messaging feature geo-targeted and hyperlocal. This means that soon artists and brands alike on Pandora will be able to target fans in a specific city or region with relevant, localized messages.

Why Brands And Podcasts Belong Together

A guest post from our Creative Team’s Director of Technology, Jason Fried.

Unless you’re living off the grid, you’ve probably heard of, or listened to, “This American Life’s” (TAL) newest podcast, Serial, from TAL’s producer Sarah Koenig. The response has been unprecedented, passing even TAL in total downloads, and where audiences go, brands follow, with sponsor MailChimp reaping the benefits of sponsorship. Far from being a new trend, however, this model is really just a return to the early days of broadcast.

A brief history of 100+ years of radio

Italian inventor Guglielmo Marconi invented the first commercial radio system at the turn of the century, and a few years later, a Brazilian priest made the first wireless broadcast of a human voice. But it took until 1920—decades after radio was first invented—for the first commercial radio stations to begin to broadcast in the US. By 1933, FM hit the scene, and during the Depression, radio found its way into homes across America. Families were spending their time at home, huddled around the radio, listening to the nightly news and all sorts of new serial broadcasting. There were dozens of programs in different genres, from mysteries and thrillers to soap operas and comedies.

The world was ripe for this type of entertainment. Families were having dinner together and, after, spending time in their sitting rooms, listening to radio, waiting to hear what Orson Welles had cooked up for them. They talked about it at work, at the bar with their friends, and at family gatherings. The medium united Americans: for the first time, we were able to consume the same programming, no matter where we were.

As programming became more elaborate, costs went up and revenue sources were needed, leading to the birth of advertising on the radio. The first “soap operas” were broadcast during day time slots aimed predominantly at housewives, and as you may have already guessed, included ads for soap and other household products. Ad spots were often performed by the cast or the radio hosts, and often perceived as endorsements by the shows themselves. 30- and 60-second spots started appearing in the late 30’s, and by the end of the Second World War, it had grown into a mature segment of the ad industry.

After the second World War, everything changed: radio made its way into cars, while TVs in homes skyrocketed. As a result, stations started programming content that was easy to listen to no matter what time you tuned in. This was a drastic change in the way that stations began to think about content ,  and it had the advantage of being cheaper. No longer was there a need for actors and folly—a few hosts in a small studio could talk the morning away for a captive audience of drivers and workers. Music and talk radio ruled the airwaves because you could start listening at any time without the feeling of missing out, while soap operas and other serialized content moved to the television.

Enter the podcast

And for 60 years, this was the lay of the land. Music made its way from vinyl, to tapes and Walkmen, to CDs and disc players, and finally, to mp3s and mp3 players, while radio stayed largely the same. In 2000, however, the first ‘podcasts’ made their way onto the web and into mp3 players. By 2004, podcasts had become formalized (and even part of the iPod menu system) and slowly grew as a way for both amateurs and professionals to distribute radio over the internet. Before long, most news organizations were distributing their content in the format as yet another way to capture their listeners’ time.

Ten years later, you can get pretty much any audio information or content you want, when you want it. Podcasting and mp3s transcend space and time in the same way that DVR changed the way we consume television. “Radio” is no longer something that exists to tune into, but a format that, like music, I can take with me and listen to when it suits me. The same way that having radio in the car changed programming, this will change what type of content creators will make.

Serial is just one of the first examples—in the last few months, talk about podcasts has reached a fever pitch. Every day I hear more and more people talking about their favorite podcasts and sharing recommendation with friends. Serial has definitely helped the medium explode — there’s even a podcast, nay, two podcasts, about Serial. Podcasts about podcasts? Yeah. That happened—in addition to a podcast industry newsletter that just started called Hot Pod. But just like early radio programs, these podcasts have a revenue problem. Though they don’t require the same amount of infrastructure, they do need money.

How brands can participate

In other words, we’re back where early radio broadcasters found themselves. While some podcast producers like Roman Mars (founder of the Radiotopia network of podcasts) and Alex Blumberg (Startup) have gone directly to listeners for support, others are turning to traditional advertising formats like sponsorships. Both Mailchimp and Audible have been early adopters to sponsoring podcasts, seeing value from the plugged-in demographics of the medium.

Not all brands are as comfortable with the medium yet, but there are some very simple guidelines to keep in mind:

  • Targeting: There are literally podcasts about everything: muscle building, philosophy, comedy, cycling, you name it. As a result, it allows for very specific targeting and allows your brand to connect with a passionate audience.
  • Scale: The podcast audience in conglomerate is large, for instance, but each show’s audience tends to be small, albeit very focused. Companies looking for scale should think about scale in terms of exposure over time: you may have a smaller base, but you have an audience that keeps tuning in.
  • Format: Podcasts are an ideal medium for native ads. Listening to Startup recently, I loved hearing Alex Blumberg explicitly tell his audience that the sponsored part of the broadcast was beginning as he interviewed the CMO of his sponsor, Mailchimp.

Podcasts are a great opportunity for brands who want to remain relatable to niche audiences and see real brand lift. It seems we’ve come full circle from the early days of radio.

Image: Apple


On Trend: Car Radio Going Digital

Earlier this week, Clear Channel, the media company that owns most of America’s big broadcast radio stations, changed its name to iHeartMedia, after its fast-growing digital-radio platform iHeartRadio. This rebranding effort puts Internet-based radio front and center, which makes sense in today’s digital age, when digital newcomers like Pandora and Spotify are challenging radio’s relevancy.

The car is the last bastion of traditional broadcast radio because very few cars have access to the Internet. But that’s about to change, as more cars become connected to the Internet and more digital radio services become available. According to a recent study by Edison Research and Triton Digital, over a quarter of U.S. smartphone owners has streamed radio from their handsets in cars, a sharp increase from a mere 6% just 4 year ago.


In fact, the gradual shift towards Internet-based radio is so evident that even Sirius, the biggest subscription-based satellite radio operator, is reportedly eyeing the move to digital radio. Right now, Sirius heavily relies on their partnership with automakers to get their satellite-radio receivers installed in the cars. But that will have to change if it wishes to compete with the likes of Pandora, which can be easily accessed from mobile devices.

That being said, broadcast FM.AM car radio will probably hang around a bit longer, because it’s free, easy to use, and benefits from a strong broadcast signal. As Internet connectivity in the car improves, however, the trend towards digital radio dominance is basically inevitable.

Last.fm Pivots Away From Subscriptions

Last.fm announced that it will be ending its subscription based music service, so as to put more attention on music discovery and tracking personal listening. Last.fm was one of the pioneering music streaming services, followed by companies like Pandora, Spotify, and Beats Music, who are now the de facto industry leaders in the space. Realizing this, Last.fm will focus on maintaining its desktop streaming service and “scrobbler” app which allows the company to track listener’s songs – and in turn lets Last.fm target listeners. In essence, the company wants to return to its core purpose of helping people find new music they’d like to be hearing. For now, it means that the streaming music space is over saturated – don’t expect to see any more high profile streaming services in the near future.  

Pandora Brings Personalized Stations To Mobile

Pandora is introducing a new, personalized station feature for iOS and Android in the US, Australia, and New Zealand. So for the 76.2 million people who listened to 1.58 billion hours of music last month, the news should come as surprising and exciting – the ability to have personalized stations recommended to you is something that Pandora has been missing for some time, and is a feature that is found on many other streaming apps across the board. Listeners can get up to six suggested artist stations to add to their library at any given time based on listening preferences. The update is available today, so users can start playing with it as soon as possible.