What is programmatic in the world of radio? Speaking at Ad Age's Data Conference in New York today, iHeartMedia President of Programmatic and Data Operations Brian Kaminsky said the goal wasn't necessarily the same as it is in other media. It's not about squeezing out efficiencies, and "we don't make any pretension about changing the way radio is delivered or creating a one-to-one impression"
Rather, it's about creating a platform that enables a buyer to understand the media he or she is buying, moving away from the rating point and toward an "audience."
"So much money is being allocated to audience buying," he said.
And it makes sense. According to the company's research a consumer's "musical tribe" is "probably one of the best indicators of your purchase patterns." Millennial moms who listen to urban radio are big gamers, for example. Millennial moms who listen to country band Florida Georgia Line are value shoppers.
Mr. Kaminsky said iHeartMedia knows what consumers are listening to and knows a lot about them. "We're matching that up with what we know about them from their social patterns" and third-party sources, he said.
He also attempted to clear up misconceptions that non-driving East Coasters might have about radio audiences. The online and app listener isn't actually different from the listener in the car. "They're one and the same," he said, adding that iHeartMedia's growth has "been purely organic. We've done no marketing at all except broadcasting it over radio stations."
"We sometimes forget that the rest of the country -- and it's a big big country -- drives to work every day," he said. And some of those drivers still like knobs and buttons, it turns out. Wide adoption of the digital dashboard, he said, is still a long way off.
But the company is "taking radio and dragging it into the digital age," he said.