5 Reasons to Buy Programmatic Audio

by Suzie Brown

Posted on 01-16-2018

Accord­ing to a recent report on pod­cast use in the UK, 24 per­cent of adults over age 15 have lis­tened to a pod­cast at least once, and 42 per­cent of lis­ten­ers said they had increased their con­sump­tion over the pre­vi­ous year. This rep­re­sents a sig­nif­i­cant change in the audio land­scape. While radio and music stream­ing ser­vices such as Spo­ti­fy and Deez­er still have the biggest impact for scale and per­for­mance, pod­casts are gain­ing ground, and will be an area to focus on through 2018 and beyond.

In addi­tion to online stream­ing, pop­u­lar pod­casts also have phe­nom­e­nal reach. S‑Town, from the mak­ers of Ser­i­al (per­haps the first pod­cast to make us sit up and take notice), was down­loaded 16 mil­lion times in its first week of release. But famil­iar favourites also do well. Desert Island Discs, which first aired on BBC Radio in 1942, was one of 2017’s most down­loaded pod­casts in the UK. Peo­ple unable to lis­ten when it airs on Sun­day morn­ings (or when it’s repeat­ed on Fri­days) still make time for this peren­ni­al favourite, catch­ing up when it suits them best.

These changes affect how we com­mu­ni­cate, how we con­sume media, and how we cre­ate and define com­mu­ni­ties. With glob­al audi­ences for these new out­lets increas­ing year after year, it’s clear that pro­gram­mat­ic audio adver­tis­ing (PAA) must move front and cen­tre in the minds of for­ward-think­ing advertisers.

Why programmatic audio advertising?

Stan­dard meth­ods of audio adver­tis­ing can be inef­fec­tive, inad­ver­tent­ly lead­ing brands to send the same mes­sage to untar­get­ed, less rel­e­vant audi­ences. PAA helps brands over­come these chal­lenges in five major ways:

  1. Tar­get by ultra-spe­cif­ic demographics

PAA allows you to tar­get and seg­ment your audi­ence to deliv­er your mes­sage more effec­tive­ly. We already know about tar­get­ing by age, demo­graph­ic, loca­tion, and first‑, second‑, and third-par­ty data. For exam­ple, Spo­ti­fy tar­gets its audio ads by using its 100 mil­lion month­ly mobile lis­ten­ers’ login data to match lis­ten­ers to prod­ucts. PAA enables Spo­ti­fy to refine its adver­tis­ing fur­ther, allow­ing the ser­vice to tar­get lis­ten­ers accord­ing to their cur­rent loca­tion, genre pref­er­ences, and activ­i­ty. Around 90% of audio lis­ten­ers on con­nect­ed devices are doing some­thing else at the time that they tune in—such as work­ing out or cook­ing. In the future, tar­get­ing may allow adver­tis­ers to deter­mine what the lis­ten­er is doing, in order to cap­ture atten­tion. For exam­ple, super­mar­kets could tar­get chefs while fit­ness cloth­ing retail­ers speak to the exercise-minded.

Ultra-spe­cif­ic tar­get­ing is applic­a­ble to pod­casts, too. Com­mu­ni­ties of like-mind­ed indi­vid­u­als spring up around pop­u­lar pod­casts, cre­at­ing oppor­tu­ni­ties for adver­tis­ers. Accord­ing to Matt Hill, co-founder of the British Pod­cast Awards, “Even though the audi­ences are quite small, those shows do very well with adver­tis­ers because those lis­ten­ers are inter­est­ed in one spe­cif­ic area—it’s exact­ly who they want to mar­ket to.”

  1. Dri­ve user experience

The immer­sive for­mat of dig­i­tal audio ensures that the con­sumer is already engaged and lis­ten­ing. Click-through rates no longer apply; rather, we’ve moved on improv­ing “lis­ten-through rates.” PAA cap­tures tricky audi­ences, who may not be as eas­i­ly acces­si­ble through oth­er dig­i­tal adver­tis­ing approach­es. PAA enables sequen­tial sto­ry­telling, via inter­est­ing, engag­ing ads specif­i­cal­ly cre­at­ed for audio use. This high­ly per­son­al solu­tion is anoth­er effec­tive way to dri­ve brand aware­ness. More­over, engaged audio media con­sumers are less like­ly to skip ahead past advertisements.

  1. Ensure brand safety

Brand safe­ty is a hot top­ic and a top pri­or­i­ty. It’s vital to ensure that prod­ucts and brands are rep­re­sent­ed appro­pri­ate­ly and rel­e­vant­ly. The speci­fici­ty avail­able with PAA ensures that the right con­tent is pre­sent­ed to the right user at the right time. Employ­ing logged-in user bases to gath­er data, in con­junc­tion with recent improve­ments in ana­lyt­i­cal capa­bil­i­ties, enables adver­tis­ers to ensure that ads don’t appear any­where that might prove damaging.

  1. Sup­port con­sid­er­able scale

PAA is in its infan­cy, and its pos­si­bil­i­ties for growth are end­less. At present, 38 per­cent of the EU pop­u­la­tion aver­age at least 11 lis­ten­ing hours per week, with a 95 per­cent lis­ten-through rate. Giv­en dig­i­tal audio’s strong mil­len­ni­al audi­ence, many of whom stay con­nect­ed through­out the day, this num­ber is like­ly to rise. By com­mu­ni­cat­ing with them when they are high­ly engaged, through high­ly tar­get­ed chan­nels, brands have a bet­ter chance of get­ting their mes­sage out to the intend­ed audi­ence. Mar­keters are poised to exploit this growth, plan­ning to allo­cate an aver­age of 11.6 per­cent of their bud­gets to audio by mid-2017—more than dou­ble what they spent 18 months ear­li­er. Much of this spend was tar­get­ed toward PAA in stream­ing music ser­vices and podcasts.

  1. Inte­grate across channels

Until recent­ly, com­pa­nies planned and mea­sured their ad spend depart­ment by depart­ment. Using PAA, an entire ad buy can be cen­tralised, mea­sured, and uni­fied across all channels—audio no longer has to sit in a silo. By draw­ing on data, we can reach our cus­tomers where they are, and when they want to be tar­get­ed, tak­ing full advan­tage of omnichan­nel marketing.

Where do we go from here?

Social net­work­ing, text mes­sag­ing, mobile apps, online forums, and count­less oth­er dig­i­tal plat­forms are evolv­ing to meet cus­tomer demands. To stay rel­e­vant, dig­i­tal adver­tis­ing must also adjust. PAA is the foun­da­tion upon which we must build our adver­tis­ing struc­ture. Through its dig­i­tal mar­ket­ing and data ana­lyt­ics tools, Adobe is com­mit­ted to dri­ving PAA’s evo­lu­tion, and using it to push mar­ket­ing to new heights.

Topics: Digital Transformation, omnichannel marketing, podcasts, Programmatic Advertising, UK, UK Exclusive, Digital EMEA