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What is Programmatic Radio

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What is Programmatic Radio

In 2014 programmatic radio had its opening act commence. The idea behind programmatic radio was just simply to automate the buying and selling of radio inventory. Since programmatic radio doesn’t involve real-time bidding but rather premium guaranteed inventory it’s clear that there is still some evolution opportunity within it. Which means advertisers and business owners can jump in before it evolves.

Originally posted on YouTube by Mobile Growth Summit



Advertisers can now identify audiences based on demographic information and social behaviors rather than the traditional method of just buying a radio placement. Along with the automation of radio buying also came the new targeting features with programmatic radio. This symbiotic relationship enables business and marketers to better understand the effectiveness of their radio buys through the data that programmatic radio provides.


“Traditional radio needed a change. Small businesses needed a better place and a better market to get their radio spots heard. Programmatic radio isn’t just offering better targeting… it’s changing the game in terms of cost effectiveness and useable data!”

Spencer Hassell, Owner of Media Shark


Knowing the audience is key to understanding how to grow and scale a digital marketing infrastructure and customer journey. Programmatic radio is allowing for marketers to buy targeted radio placement based on what consumers are listening to. The old way of buying radio placement is diminishing. Marketers no longer have to guess on radio spots based on loosely defined audience data. Programmatic radio targeting options include geography, device types, online interests, and consumer behaviors.


Benefits of Programmatic Radio

No one knows the full potential of what programmatic radio will yield, but the advantages of trying it outweigh the risk. With the entire world becoming more connected, it just makes sense to follow your audience through digital radio as well.


1. Streaming is now main-stream
With Spotify alone having over 100 million users it’s clear to see that this isn’t just some crazy idea. This may not be impressive compared to display ads and CTV inventory but it’s a big deal for radio channels. Advertisers don’t have to compete for one spot in one market any longer. This vast number of streaming consumers allow for digital ad availability and lower costs compared to traditional radio.

2. The Consumer
Did you know that the average podcast listeners statistically are more likely to have a college degree and a household income of over 100K? Digital streamers tend to be on the more affluent side of demographical targeting, which means an affluent audience base is reachable through digital radio!

3. Distraction-Free
When consumers stream audio from a podcast it’s considered to be a distraction-free medium. Since the user really can’t really absorb other media while they’re engaging with the podcast it allows for a better ad absorption. The online audiences typically are more focused on the content than other areas of marketing and less influenced by other distractions like a banner ad on a website.


The Future of Programmatic Radio

People like to be connected and thanks to mobile phones your audience is now always reachable. Programmatic radio still has a long way to go but with acquisitions from iHeart Radio and big movement within Google the option to test out radio vs. programmatic radio has never been better.

Unlocking the full potential of programmatic radio won’t happen overnight or in the next few months, but the opportunities to test against what marketers are currently doing shouldn’t be overlooked.

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