On the heels of iHeartMedia’s announcement of the launch of iHeartLand on online gaming platform Roblox — including a digital concert stadium and gaming district, both sponsored by State Farm — and Charlie Puth’s recent concert on Fortnite, iHeart CEO Bob Bateman spoke with Ad age About the company’s Web3 plans.
“Our strategy is to be where our listeners are, with the products and services they expect from us,” Pittman said. “The metaverse is so big these days, so we need to be there.” Touching on the importance of Roblox and Fortnite, he added, “We see these as important new platforms to interact with our customers. [These platforms] Love us because we reach 90% of Americans. while [with] Most of the things they do, they have to generate traffic, when we come to Fortnite or Roblox, we bring our traffic with us – we promote it, we tell people about it the same way we build our podcasts, our iHeartRadio app or our big events. “
Pittman cited iHeart’s presence on social media as a major driver of Web3 destinations. “We have seven times as many followers as the second largest audio player on social networks because radio is about companionship, so [it is] It’s very easy for us to translate that into a larger and broader relationship. When we say we are going to Roblox, or we come to [Charlie Puth] Concert, they respond to it. Anytime we partner, that’s what we deliver, the same way we engage with advertisers.”
For quests like Roblox’s State Farm Park, where players can not only collect in-game rewards and exchange them for “iHeartBucks” but also play their own radio stations and unlock songs and playlists, Pittman sees even greater opportunities to generate advertising revenue. “Having an avatar for Jake in the State Farm Neighborhood is not a 30-second advertisement, it is a relationship with the consumer,” he said. “[On Fortnite]Charlie Puth got about 50 times as many people as he would have on a show that ran out entirely in Madison Square Garden, so these become very valuable venues because there is such a wide range. For an advertiser, you can connect in new and different ways.”
Pittman also sees “iHeartBucks” as a way to build consumer loyalty, something the company has found challenging thus far. “Tokens are finally giving us a way to build a really strong loyalty program,” he said. “For the activities you do, you can get tokens and then get a special treatment. [For example, for] Jingle Ball in New York, everyone wants the best seat, everyone wants behind the scenes, they want to be able to buy tickets [which] Sell it immediately. Can you have private interviews and private access? We’re looking at this as an opportunity to deepen the relationship with the consumer, and from a business point of view, it’s clearly monetizing for us and our advertising partners.”
Pittman noted that iHeart’s mission includes leveraging our existing broadcast and podcast audiences to expand into the metaverse, “We’ve seen this huge success. We have these hosts, shows, brands, and consumers.” [who] You want to extend that relationship. Some of our podcast hosts go live and sell places, so, obviously, we have the kind of engaged consumer you need if you want to build things.”
During the Ad Age interview, Pittman also offered his opinion on the current AM/FM ad market and podcasts, along with thoughts on the current state of broadcasting.
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