The Complete Guide to Understanding iHeartRadio Advertising

iHeartRadio advertising can have a very wide reach, letting your commercial reach many ears. Here’s what you should know about their radio ad types.

iheartradio advertising: man adjusting car radio

If you want to play with the big dogs, you have to know what you’re doing. That’s the case with advertising with one of the largest radio conglomerates in the world.

Many resources—including this one—can help you understand how to get your brand and company in front of engaged listeners.

Major radio conglomerates, like iHeartMedia, have plenty of radio advertising opportunities at their various radio stations. However, which iHeartRadio advertising campaigns are right for your objectives?

In this post, we’ll cover everything you need to know about iHeartMedia and how you can leverage their networks to launch a successful radio ad campaign for your company. Before we dive in, let’s take a deeper look at iHeartRadio as a whole to understand what the company owns and offers.

What is iHeartRadio?

iheartradio advertising: website homepage

Source: iHeartRadio

iHeartRadio is a free radio broadcast (both traditional and streamlining) as well as a podcast network, which all live under the parent company iHeartMedia.

The company is the largest broadcast radio company currently operating in the United States. It was founded in New York in 2008. iHeartMedia does everything from radio stations, radio networks, digital programmatic ads, podcasts, streaming, live events and more. 

They are one of the most well-known radio conglomerates in the United States. They offer a popular advertising platform with a widely visible reach via their impressive radio network that spans all across the United States. So, iHeartRadio advertising campaigns can be an effective way to reach your consumers.

Due to its size and expansive reach, the company is one of the prominent players in the radio industry. Advertising on its massive platform will get you in front of engaged listeners all across the country.

There are, however, approximately 30,367 broadcast outlets across the country. With all the local and independent stations, iHeartRadio is only a small percent of the total broadcast outlets available. 

So why exactly should you activate on their channels? Let’s dive in.

Why you should take advantage of iHeartRadio advertising

iheartradio advertising: chart showing increasing sales

iHeartRadio calls itself an “industry leading digital music service,” which positions iHeartRadio advertising opportunities as a lucrative channel. Their listener numbers back up that statement. iHeartRadio boasts:

  • 150 million registered users
  • 250 platforms
  • 860 live broadcast stations

The power of the platform really comes down to its impressive reach and magnitude. As a radio marketer, getting access to their captive listeners is a lucrative offering. You’ll want to figure out how you can make the most of it.

Let’s take a look at some of the most popular ways to get in front of your target audience through iHeartRadio advertising campaigns.

Types of iHeartRadio advertising tactics 

iHeartRadio advertising: spongebob listening to music

A radio ad campaign has many moving parts ranging from the script to the targeting. This can make the process complex and potentially overwhelming for beginners.

There is so much you can do with an iHeartRadio advertising campaign. Are you creating a jingle? Are you sponsoring a show? There are often a variety of different sponsorship and audio ad types available for you to customize depending on what you’re trying to accomplish.

iHeartRadio involves two common ways for customers to engage with listeners and get in front of the right audience during their on-air marketing campaigns. These tactics include: unique branded customer stations and pre-roll advertisements.

Unique branded custom stations

Unique branded custom stations are original stations curated online by genre and artist, making them ripe channels for targeting based on consumer listening habits.There are so many things you can do with iHeartRadio’s unique branded custom stations. 

To target your customers based on brand affinity data, you first need to know what they like. Survey your existing customers to learn about their listening habits, interests, and geolocation. With this first-party data, you’ll be able to evolve your ad strategy and targeting to align with those insights. Then, you can target your ads more precisely, making them more impactful when they play before an audience that will enjoy them.

You can record a jingle or customized ad that features your product. Depending on the show and the opportunity offered, the host may even read your ad or mention your product on-air during the broadcast.

Weaving your product or service into the broadcast and taking advantage of strategy ad placements with iHeartRadio advertising campaigns on the platform’s unique branded custom stations is an opportunity that you don’t want to pass up.


A pre-roll ad is one of the most common types of iHeartRadio advertising tactics. This ad will play before the featured content airs. These ads are often short and can range anywhere from 5-60 seconds. Depending on the length, targeting, and placement, pre-roll ads can range from $5-$10 in small cities to $150-$750 in large cities per 60 second spot.

Pre-roll ads are effective because the audience is actively waiting for the featured content to come on the station. They may be waiting for their favorite show or a song that they’ve been dying to hear, so they are tuned in and engaged while the pre-roll ad plays right before it.

To create an effective pre-roll ad, you want to clearly state your offering, its benefits, and add a call-to-action (like a phone number, website or location) that drives listeners to a place where they can purchase the item.

That’s why many businesses who are just starting to dabble in radio ad campaigns should consider a pre-roll ad.                

Using the iHeartRadio AdBuilder

you are a wizard gif

Imagine waving a wand and a custom radio ad appeared. With the iHeartRadio AdBuilder, this is possible. The iHeartRadio AdBuilder is a self-service ad platform, which means that any business can sign up, create an ad, and submit it to the airwaves. This makes it easy to launch effective radio ad campaigns.

For example, Sharkey’s Cuts for Kids in Spokane, Washington launched their first iHeartRadio ad campaign and generated 327,000 impressions for their local hair salon. Their radio campaign got their brand in front of prospective customers, positively impacting their bottom line.

Now, I know what you might be thinking. What does Decibel offer that the iHeartRadio AdBuilder doesn’t?

Well, Decibel enables you to generate and launch customized AI-generated ads in mere minutes. You can browse script templates, personalize one to fit your business or offering, and submit it to be recorded by our AI-generated voiceover or human voice tactics. Then, you can target your listeners on a variety of channels beyond iHeartRadio.

The magic of the iHeartRadio AdBuilder and Decibel’s technology is that it makes radio ad creation and execution a breeze. It opens up the world of radio marketing to small businesses and companies that don’t know the first thing about it.

By doing so, radio ads are becoming a lucrative channel for small businesses with a low barrier for entry and minimal setup cost. 

Make a splash with your iHeartRadio advertising campaigns

boy jumping into a swimming pool

If you’re launching an iHeartRadio advertising campaign, you’re starting in the right place. iHeartRadio’s prominence in the media industry has set the broadcast network apart from other media conglomerates in the world. 

The amount of listeners and advertising opportunity on their channels can be like a goldmine for businesses looking to connect with their customers over radio. iHeartRadio’s custom branded stations and pre-roll opportunities can be an impactful way to raise brand awareness in your target markets. 

By launching an ad on iHeartRadio networks, you’ll be taking advantage of a wide-base of listeners that might be interested in your product.

Discover how easy it is to make an ad with Decibel. Review dozens of script templates and turn one into a customized ad in just a few clicks.

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