In its first major advertising move since recruiting Brian Benedik as Chief Revenue Officer in November, Audacy has launched a digital audience network.
Boasting an aggregate audience of 60 million listeners who tune into its audio streams and podcasts, the Audacy Digital Audience Network (ADAN) will let advertisers “target precise audiences at scale and deliver high-performing digital audio media strategies for Audacy’s advertising partners,” the company said in the announcement.
In an interview with Adweek, Benedik said the network is “addressing a need that marketers have. They want to buy scaled digital audiences. [Marketers say] we want to invest more with you, but you got to build something that we can work with,” added Benedik who has spent 25 years at audio and radio companies, including seven at Spotify after a long stretch at Katz Media Group.
The network is the next logical step for Audacy after paying $40 million last October to buy the digital audio ad server and streaming business of WideOrbit, which has since been rebranded as AmperWave.
ADAN will allow advertisers to target audience segments by buying across the online streams of Audacy’s 230 news, sports, talk and music radio stations, thousands of podcasts from its Cadence13 and Pineapple Street studios, including Pod Save America and Fly on the Wall with Dana Carvey and David Spade, and the podcast arm of Audacy partner American Public Media. The network also includes digital-only music stations curated by Audacy air talent and stations, including era, genre and artist channels and the digital streams of Major League Baseball play-by-play broadcasts via flagship partnerships.
Audacy says ADAN audiences “skew more affluent, are more likely to be college educated and are more diverse – collectively bringing the highest value consumers to advertisers.”
Benedik said that most ADAN ad buys will be direct purchases made across the network, although there is an option for private marketplace programmatic trading. He also said it plans to expand the digital audience network into programmatic guaranteed.
The digital audience network launches as the former Entercom looks to monetize its digital audio audience after relaunching and rebranding its streaming audio app as Audacy last year. On its quarterly earnings call last week, Audacy reported its overall streaming audio revenue increased 35% during the fourth quarter, and CEO David Field said it should get a boost this year as they make “significant improvements” to the app. Audacy’s total fourth quarter digital ad revenue increased 16% compared to a year ago to $68.1 million.
“The creation of ADAN is exciting as we continue to build our Audacy streaming audio and podcast assets,” Benedik said in the announcement. “The marketplace has moved to audience-based investment and our new ADAN offering is highly scaled with unduplicated digital listeners. We can target these audiences with precision and optimize campaign performance for better marketer outcomes. Our Audacy local and national sales teams are looking forward to working with our agency and brand partners in this capacity.”