Triton Digital is now part of iHeartMedia as the $230 million sale from E.W. Scripps Co. to iHeart closed Wednesday. In addition to the Webcast Metrics reports that measure streaming audio and the Podcast Metrics reports that track podcast downloads, Triton Digital also owns a programmatic advertising marketplace, a suite of ad-serving technologies and Omny Studio, the podcast technology and hosting company.
Executives say the addition of Triton Digital’s vast array of infrastructure and measurement solutions will complement iHeartMedia’s current advertising technology services, data platforms and programmatic platforms. The company said it will now be able to provide audio content to producers and advertisers with a full ad service package for streaming and podcasting. And iHeart said it will become the first and only company in the audio market to provide on-demand, broadcast and digital streaming radio and podcasting ads programmatically.
Speaking at an investor conference earlier this month, iHeartMedia CEO Bob Pittman said adding Triton’s digital audio technology will stitch together all of iHeart’s audio assets, allowing it to follow audiences as they move across platforms from broadcast radio to digital radio, on demand audio and podcasting. Coupled with the data and analytics that power iHeart’s SmartAudio programmatic ad buying platform, Pittman believes it will help them tap into the $100 billion digital ad marketplace.
“Now we have the tech platform to deliver those ads, pull them together and go across all the platforms we have, as well as connect to the other platforms that the ad agencies have… that allow us to participate in a much broader way,” Pittman said. “Now that audio is having its day, led by podcasting, we are at the forefront of that.”
Triton Digital is also a new source of revenue. For all of 2020, Triton revenue totaled $45.6 million, an 11.1% increase compared to a year earlier.
The Triton Digital deal is the largest acquisition made by iHeartMedia in more than a decade, reflecting the importance that digital audio has in the company’s future. In October, iHeart bought the podcast ad tech and analytics company Voxnest for $50 million. It bought Stuff Media for $55 million in 2018, and used it as the foundation of the iHeartPodcast Network.
Scripps intends to use proceeds from the Triton transaction toward debt reduction. The sale of Triton completes Scripps' exit from podcasting and digital audio. It sold Stitcher and Midroll Media in a $325 million deal to SiriusXM in October. Scripps nearly doubled its return on investments in both companies – it bought Triton Digital for $150 millionin 2018 – and now Scripps is focused on growth strategies in the television business. It earlier sold off its radio station business in a series of deals worth a combined $83.5 million during 2018.
Triton Inks New Deal
Meanwhile, Triton Digital continues to expand its reach around the globe. It has just signed a deal with the Masima Radio Network in Indonesia for the delivery, monetization, and measurement of its streaming audio and podcast content. The Masima Radio Network owns 18 stations in the southeast Asian nation. It will utilize Triton’s audio streaming network for the delivery of its podcasts and commercial radio online. And it will use Triton’s ad server to insert targeted audio ads into their content, as well as Triton’s audio advertising technology to monetize their inventory through both open and private marketplace deals.
“Trusted by the world’s leading audio publishers, Triton’s technology will enable us to work more efficiently, deliver a higher quality listening experience to our audiences, and generate meaningful revenue on our own terms through the unmatched control and transparency that their advertising technology provides,” said Masima Digital Content Manager Fitzgerald Salendu in the announcement.