Radio giant iHeartMedia announced today that it’s reached an agreement to acquire Jelli, a company bringing programmatic ad-buying to radio broadcasters.
In fact, iHeartMedia was already working with Jelli to allow businesses to use programmatic tools to buy advertising on the company’s 850 broadcast radio stations. iHeartMedia also invested in Jelli’s most recent funding round.
As a result of the deal, the Jelli team in Silicon Valley will become iHeartMedia’s main adtech operation, and it will still be led by CEO Michael Dougherty. At the same time, iHeartMedia says Expressway by Katz, the programmatic ad exchange created using Jelli technology, will be run independently by Katz Media Group.
In a statement, iHeartMedia CEO Bob Pittman said:
At iHeart we believe marketing is both math and magic. The math is our rich data and insights about our users and how they relate to our partners’ products and services — and the magic is the incredible creative ideas we bring to our partners, such as our iconic music events, award shows, influencers, podcasts, social reach and our unique on air promotions. Jelli allows us to do something no other company can do — advertisers can now buy and use our broadcast assets, reach and impact just as they use the major digital players. We now offer heavy data and heavy creative innovation all in one place.
The financial terms of the acquisition were not disclosed. Jelli’s other investors include Relay Ventures, Intel Capital, First Round Capital and Universal Music Group, and, according to Crunchbase, it raised more than $40 million total.
iHeartMedia, meanwhile, filed for bankruptcy in March, though it looks like it’s now preparing to leave Chapter 11 protection.