Cloud-based ad platform supplier Jelli, having taken a much more visible role in U.S. commercial radio’s ad transaction universe as of this spring, now it says it has closed on a financing agreement with investors that include Relay Ventures, Intel Capital, First Round Capital, iHeartMedia and Universal Music Group. It said the $21 million from this round brings its total amount raised to $37.6 million.
This spring Jelli announced it had been selected to supply programmatic and automated ad buying platforms for iHeartMedia and its 850+ radio stations, as well as for Expressway from Katz, a large-scale ad buying exchange run by iHeart’s Katz Media Group, which represents numerous broadcasters. CEO Mike Dougherty said Jelli’s goal is to help broadcast radio participate in the programmatic trend “and make buying an audio ad as easy as buying a digital ad.”
“Advertising across all media segments is transforming rapidly, driven by technological advancements such as programmatic advertising,” the company stated in the announcement; it cited data from eMarketer that programmatic advertising doubled to $10.1 billion in the United States in 2014 and will double again in the next two years.
“Broadcast radio is 90 percent of the audio market, and according to the RAB, audio advertising was a $17.5 billion market in the United States in 2014; iHeartMedia and Katz’s new programmatic networks, powered by Jelli, allow broadcast radio to tap into programmatic advertising budgets.”
It said these platforms will be provided to customers via a “software as a service” model, allowing advertisers and publishers to buy and sell radio ads programmatically via a suite of “demand-side and supply-side” services.
Jelli: Programmatic Is Radio's Future (Jan. 2015)