Streaming giants merge sales; iHeart creates ad network

Affiliate Marketing

As audio channels like streaming radio and podcasts continue to mature, two big names are making moves to grow their sales and advertising.

Last week, SiriusXM announced a new combined advertising sales organization that includes SiriusXM, Pandora and podcast platform Stitcher. The new group operates under the name SXM Media, and offers a unified connection to 150 million listeners of live radio, streaming music and podcasts. In addition to the three main platforms, SXM Media will also provide exclusive advertising and sales representative for other entities, including SoundCloud (exclusive to the U.S.) and NBCUniversal News Group (NBC News and MSNBC podcasts). Advertisers will have access to SiriusXM-owned audio adtech platforms like AdsWizz and Simplecast, as well as podcast advertising network Midroll. SXM Media also offers services through an in-house creative consultancy, Studio Resonate.

New marketplace. Meanwhile, iHeartMedia last week launched a new programmatic solution, Private Marketplace. Through the podcast publisher’s recently acquired Voxnest, advertisers gain private access and targeting through the iHeartPodcast Network, which boasts over 30 million U.S. monthly unique listeners and 257 million global downloads and streams. Brands will be able to break down audiences by content, geography and consumer psychographics through iHeartMedia’s extensive library.

Targeting listeners. iHeartMedia’s Private Marketplace will offer multiple deal types to advertisers, including Programmatic Guaranteed (PG), Preferred Deal (PD), Private Auction (PA) and Open Marketplace (OMP). Private Marketplace uses a suite of psychographic podcast networks, allowing advertisers to deliver messaging to targeted behavior sets, like conqueror, explorer, advocate, backer, cultivator, thriver, and others.

Why we care. Marketers have been keeping a close eye on the increase of audio streaming usage during the pandemic. The trend has no sign of losing steam. Weekly podcast listeners are up 17% this year over 2020, according to one study. These recent moves show that the largest digital audio publishers are finally allowing other big brands to capitalize, reaching audiences in a targeted way, at scale, using the latest advertising technology.

About The Author


Chris Wood draws on over 15 years of reporting experience as a B2B editor and journalist. At DMN, he served as associate editor, offering original analysis on the evolving marketing tech landscape. He has interviewed leaders in tech and policy, from Canva CEO Melanie Perkins, to former Cisco CEO John Chambers, and Vivek Kundra, appointed by Barack Obama as the country’s first federal CIO. He is especially interested in how new technologies, including voice and blockchain, are disrupting the marketing world as we know it. In 2019, he moderated a panel on “innovation theater” at Fintech Inn, in Vilnius. In addition to his marketing-focused reporting in industry trades like Robotics Trends, Modern Brewery Age and AdNation News, Wood has also written for KIRKUS, and contributes fiction, criticism and poetry to several leading book blogs. He studied English at Fairfield University, and was born in Springfield, Massachusetts. He lives in New York.

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