The Ad-Supported Internet Helps The Economy; iHeartRadio Adds Targeting Options

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Ads Can Do It!

The ad-supported internet is a boon to the US economy. According to an IAB report led by Harvard Business School professor John Deighton, the ad-supported internet drove more than $1 trillion into the US economy last year, more than doubling in the past four years. In 2016, the ad-supported internet created 10.4 million jobs in the US (again double what it created in 2012) to account for 7.3% of the country’s nonfarm employment. Online video was the biggest driver of new internet traffic, largely thanks to the mainstreaming of OTT networks. The report also attributes growth to ecommerce, user-generated content platforms, music streaming and cloud computing. More.


IHeartMedia will use data from its digital properties, including its iHeartRadio streaming app (which has 95 million registered users) and 800 station websites, to create audience segments marketers can use to target consumers on broadcast. Marketers can also add their first party CRM data and third party data to the mix. IHeart introduced this new product, called SmartAudio, at its SoundFront on Wednesday. SmartAudio will allow advertisers to apply the fine targeting they’re used to in digital to radio at scale, and will also allow advertisers to serve audio ads dynamically based on third party triggers like weather, location, sports scores and time of day.


Turner, Viacom and Fox are part of a new joint venture called OpenAP, a digital platform where advertisers can mix data sets and match targeting across the networks. The idea is that a brand looking for, say, newlywed households doesn’t have to assemble the criteria with each individual broadcaster. The impact is limited since no transactions, inventory or prices are available in OpenAP (a brand still has to negotiate those deals), but the goal is to nudge more TV buyers into data-driven environments. “We’re making significant investments here, because we know we need to be doing this,” says Joe Marchese, president of advanced advertising at Fox Networks. More at The Wall Street Journal.

Drill, Baby, Drill

Major ad trades are lobbying in support of a resolution from Sen. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.) and Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.) that would open to ISPs the kind of browsing and user data that’s propelled Google, Facebook and Amazon. The law targets new FCC privacy rules passed in 2016. “We think this is one of the worst rules that has been put forward in some time,” Dan Jaffe, executive VP of government relations for the ANA, told MediaPost this week. Dem Sen. Ed Markey, a frequent sponsor of pro-privacy legislation, countered that if the bill passes into law, “Consumers will have no ability to stop internet service providers (ISPs) from … selling sensitive information about their health, finances and children to advertisers, insurers, data brokers or others.”  More at Ars Technica.

Running From TV

Adidas wants to quadruple its ecommerce revenues by 2020, and to do so it’s ditching TV ads. The shoe brand will focus primarily on digital channels to gain market share with younger consumers, CEO Kasper Rorsted told CNBC. “It’s clear that the younger consumer engages with us predominately over the mobile device,” he said. “Digital engagement is key for us; you don’t see any TV advertising anymore.” More.

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