Woolworths partners up with ARN on new in-store custom radio

Supermarket giant looks to bring more customised music and advertising choices via audio offering based on location, demographics and time of day

Woolworths has teamed up with ARN on a new in-store radio experience which it says will customise programming for customers while also providing more targeted advertising for B2B partners.

The latest national in-store radio service is being powered by ARN’s iHeart Radio and ad serving platform, Adswizz, and will use proprietary technology to build several bespoke in-store radio stations aimed at better addressing time of day, customer demographics and geographic locations. There’s also a mandate to include more Australian music artists in the mix, with call outs to highlight these local musical acts.

Woolworths’ media division, Cartology, is also applying ad-insertion technology and software so as to place audio advertisements in a more dynamic way, executing in near real-time and targeting by Woolworths store location, time of day, for a few hours or longer depending on client specifications.

The in-store audio experience will also be available via the iHeart Radio app outside Woolworths locations for consumers via the app, in-car capabilities or smart speakers.

Woolworths chief marketing officer, Andrew Hicks, said the new offering was about enhancing the experience for customers, suppliers and teams.

“The iHeartRadio music in store has been programmed to reflect the needs of our customers across different times of the day; from morning trips to the local Woolworths in suburban locations to rush hour on the way home to an inner-city Metro store,” he said.

“The new stations were trialled with team members to ensure the music selection also met their needs, offering a range of music that is uplifting while they run the store and support customers.”

The trial and survey to store team members took place during July. Big mainstream chart-topping hits proved most popular, as well as classics, especially from the 1980s. 

“The importance of supporting new Australian music also came up in our surveys, so we're pleased to be increasing the presence of Aussie music. There was a wide range of genres that are popular too, from pop to rock, country, dance, RnB and singer songwriters,” the Woolworths spokesperson said.  

“Metro music is programmed differently to best suit the different customer demographic of the metro stores and are usually customers who come in for a quick shop. Other channels will appear for a certain time, based on what may be happening on a local level, such as Mardi Gras, Parkes Elvis Festival. It's been designed so we can also quickly create a custom station at short notice if required.” 

ARN CEO, Ciaran Davis, said the collaboration between his company, media solutions agency, Mood Media, and Woolworths represented an industry-leading audio platform for enhancing the customer experience while delivering fresh opportunities for supplier partners to engage with shoppers’ opportunities.

“This solution is going to reach millions of people each week and is another great example of the innovative audio solutions we can provide to our commercial partners,” he said.

Coles also has its own in-store radio offering, available through iTunes, Windows Media Player or the DAB+ radio app.

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