March 28, 2016

Adweek "How Digital Helped Audio Advertising Get Its Groove Back" - Tim Sims

Tim Sims

Does anyone go for a run, hop on the train or cook dinner anymore without queuing up Marc Maron's 'WTF' or their favorite Spotify playlist or Pandora station? I'm literally listening to Spotify right now while I type.

We're in the middle of a new golden age of audio—only better, because today we choose exactly what we listen to. Pandora has over 80 million active listeners in the U.S. alone, while Spotify is expected to cross 100 million active listeners globally this quarter. Apple Music and iHeart Radio also have substantial user bases. And of course, there's a podcast for everything.

Amazing content, ultra-engaged audiences, massive distribution and 6.4 billion Internet-connected devices globally suggest a compelling future for audio advertising. Programmatic, especially, is in a prime position to deliver relevant messages to that global audience of active listeners—without killing the vibe.

Here's why audio offers marketers huge potential in the context of programmatic.

As the world goes mobile, audio goes with it

Music, podcasts and audiobooks have become deeply integrated into our daily routine. A ritual that was once reserved for living room radios—and then car rides—has evolved into something that can be taken with us anywhere. Because digital audio accompanies us on our daily routines, there is richness to the data that far exceeds other channels.




Audio is primed for programmatic intelligence

In addition to its rich data, audio appears to be preordained for a seamless transition to programmatic. From a technical standpoint, the real-time bidding process works exactly the same. In fact, the IAB added new digital audio content up for review in its OpenRTB 2.4 specifications—speaking to the standardization of engagement with programmatic audio buyers and sellers. On the creative side, supplying these audio ad formats would be an easy addition. Most brands already have audio content or can repurpose video ads with audio voiceover.



The power and efficiency of programmatic now has our sights set on the platinum age of audio on the horizon. And we are eagerly listening for that future.