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iHeartMedia pitches the "audio gap"

Apr 27, 2023
iHeartMedia CMO Gayle Troberman and Conal Byrne, CEO of the iHeartMedia Digital Audio Group, standing behind five white chairs and in front of a screen that reads, "The Audio Gap; 31% listening time; 9% media spend"

Gayle Troberman, CMO of iHeartMedia, and Conal Byrne, CEO of the iHeartMedia Digital Audio Group. Photo: Kerry Flynn/Axios

Audio giant iHeartMedia got ahead of NewFronts week with an event at its office Wednesday, pitching media buyers (and Axios, the sole news outlet in attendance) on the power of audio.

Why it matters: Digital audio platforms like iHeartMedia's podcast network have been seeking more ad dollars as competition with digital video continues to increase.

Details: The core of the 10-minute pitch at iHeartMedia's AudioCon: Influencer Summit was CMO Gayle Troberman's "favorite audio fact" that "31% of media time is spent listening ... but 9% of media spend today is audio," she said.

  • "If nothing else, start thinking hard about that gap. That gap is the opportunity. If you can do more to find consumers where they are, engage where they're listening, you can outmaneuver your competitors," she said.
  • The introduction was followed by a panel of four creators and then two 30-minute breakouts. Axios attended one with Charlamagne tha God and Dollie S. Bishop, president of production and creative development at The Black Effect, and another with Malcolm Gladwell.
  • Buyers' questions centered on how to create effective campaigns, brand safety concerns and understanding audiences.

What they're saying: "This event was really about creating a dialogue between the podcast creators and the marketers directly at the creators' request. Hopefully, it makes for better advertising," Troberman told Axios as cocktail hour kicked off.

  • "Marketers are way underinvested in audio," she said when asked about the upcoming NewFronts and Upfronts. "It's got more attention and more engagement and lower ad skipping and better authenticity."
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