Digital Gabe
Cutting Edge Commentary On All Things Media

Reach – What You Sell When You Have Nothing Else To Sell

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My DG spies are keeping an eye on iHeart as its management team continues to spin the company’s post-bankruptcy reality.  Their latest move was an internal memo (and powerpoint deck!) which touts iHeart’s overall reach.  While a monthly audience of 271M sounds like a nice brag stat, it isn’t really a usable number for advertisers.

For starters iHeart’s total reach is the aggregate cume of all 860 radio stations it owns.  To reach all of these listeners a brand would have to run on every station, which isn’t realistic. Then there’s the issue of duplication.  Since iHeart owns clusters of stations in several markets, which overlap when the same listener tunes in to more than one station, advertisers end up double-reaching the same listener since there’s no way to de-duplicate the audiences.  And finally there’s the issue of iHeart’s 6+ audience segment.  I’ve been in marketing for a quarter century and I’ve never heard of a brand who wanted to reach 6 yo’s and 70 yo’s with the same campaign.  6+ is just not a sellable demo.  But since iHeart has very little else to sell they cling to a Gigantor reach stat in an attempt to stay relevant in today’s media landscape.

Below is an example of one of iHeart’s slides which puts them ahead of Google, Facebook and all the TV networks as the “#1 Media Company In The US”.  For the full deck imagine 5-6 slides cutting the same data in different ways.

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