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CASE STUDY

iHeartMedia

The Ron Burgundy Podcast


A Behemoth Broadcast Brand.

For the better part of a decade, iHeartMedia had built a behemoth broadcast brand, centered around live radio and music curation, boasting over 250 million monthly listeners, 120 million registered users, and a cumulative 1.7 billion app downloads.   

Entering 2018, iHeartMedia sought to diversify the core offerings that made it a household name, towards podcasts, acquiring Stuff Media, the publisher of the podcast network How Stuff Works, and acquiring the rights to original podcasts such as Barbara Corcoran’s Business Unusual. Historically, podcasts hadn’t been a priority for the company, as radio had managed 93% market penetration versus podcasts at only 24%. In recent years though, podcasts have gone fully mainstream, with over 660,000 active podcasts in the United States, serving over 90 million monthly podcast listeners.

Stay Classy, Podcasters.

Having run app installs for the iHeartRadio app for years, iHeartMedia tapped Brand Knew to digitally promote the Ron Burgundy podcast, the initial season, launching in February of 2019, a major investment for the company. The podcast features Will Ferrell, as he reprises his role as news personality Ron Burgundy from the hit film franchise, Anchorman. Brand Knew conceptualized and implemented a strategy that would utilize iHeartRadio’s existing brand equity, as well as the broad name recognition of both Will Ferrell and his beloved character. This included digital retargeting tactics, as well as audience expansion, using interests rooted in Will Ferrell and his past works. Brand Knew also utilized data modeling via machine learning, in order to find discover new audiences based on the digital attributes of current listeners.

In the first two months of podcast launch, results have well exceeded expectations. Brand Knew’s paid efforts have been responsible for nearly 20% of all listens and associated app downloads of the podcast, assisting in the growth of the podcast’s robust audience, surpassing two million listeners per episode in just its first season.

As The Ron Burgundy Podcast audience grows, Brand Knew continues to deliver increasingly efficient results through refinement of strategy across targeting capabilities and ad serving technologies.

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