Aldo Agostinelli

Some people have suggested it is ready to take off, and there is evidence that it may be true: audio advertising could be the next relevant step in the evolution of programmatic adv. Indeed, Pandora has recently purchased AdsWizz with the aim to sell some ads on platforms such as Spotify, SoundCloud and iHeartMedia.

In a recent interview with eMarketer, Eric Picard, vice president of Pandora product management, said he believes there is room for growth and that such growth should be supported, transforming experimental budgets usually devoted by agencies to innovative products, into standard budgets  (Is Programmatic Audio Ready to Take Off?).

According to a recent survey conducted by Radio Joint Audience Research, although video ads are still in the majority, audio ads are starting to compete with television. And while in the UK 3,7 million people aged over 18, i.e. 6.5% of the adult population, actually listen to podcasts, in the United States radio is listened to by 93% of people aged between 12 and 54. It is no surprise, then, that 55% of marketers think audio is now ready for conquering the world of programmatic adv and that 68,9% of insiders believe programmatic targeting applied to audio may turn into a boon for investors in the future.

Once again targeting is the key word. As in the “traditional” programmatic adv, the sale, the purchase, the positioning of the ads are automated and customized messages selected by marketers are forwarded to specific psychographic groups of listeners identified on the basis of data gathered analyzing their trends and behaviours (What Is Programmatic Audio Advertising?).

Last year, in Italy, Omnicom Media Group launched a programmatic audio campaign for Citroën C4 Cactus, transmitting their ads on Spotify. The agency used Spotify audio inventory and managed to exploit both its internal data and the ones coming from the streaming platform concerning sole listeners, data including location, genre and type of activity (Programmatic Audio, the first campaign launched in Italy for OMG in partnership with Spotify and Rubicon Project).

Programmatic audio can boast various strengths: first, it is affordable for many advertisers and it is also risk free in terms of frauds and the invasion of bots from video ads.  In addition, you can stream live contents (Spotify alone has exceeded 140 millions of  users) without the visual competition of a display shared with other investors. Audio messages are broadcast one by one for the time paid and it is the only one users listen to at a given time. And we are not talking only about the radio, but also computers, smartphones, and tablets. In the US, for instance, 75,8%  of digital audio contents are listened to via mobile devices,  24,2% on desktop PCs. Which translates into big numbers. And it is the right moment to take advantage of such figures.

Familiarity, skillfulness, modernity, targeted products: what are according to you the features which best define audio programmatic adv? Tweet @agostinellialdo.

To find out more about the digital world you may read my latest book entitled: “People Are Media” 

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Aldo Agostinelli