The Path Towards Audio Measurability and Transparency

Advertisers have increasingly been seeking guidance around measurement opportunities and transparency in the audio ecosystem. Currently, there is no standard around what constitutes an audible impression, meaning there is a clear gap in the industry for metrics to measure the quality of audio ads. To help advertisers in this area, Pandora has been investing in research with one main goal in mind: create holistic audio measurement capabilities to help advertisers better analyze their campaigns.

After two years of research and working closely with Moat by Oracle Data Cloud[1], our first party measurement partner, we are very excited to announce our plans to launch a first-to-market, robust Audibility initiative. In our upcoming extended beta, we will test Audibility measurement and reporting aligned to the 2-second MRC standard. In this phase, we will also analyze audible trends and behaviors to inform ongoing measurement standards that we will seek to uphold for advertisers.

This is the first of many steps towards the goal of increased transparency and helping marketers better understand the value of their buys.

Mark Kopera, Head of Product for Moat by Oracle Data Cloud, the solution helping power audio measurement and transparency, had this to say about the launch:

"Up until now, the audio ecosystem has not had the attention and measurement metrics needed to make strategic and data-driven decisions for their advertising spend. We are thrilled to team-up with Pandora with this first-to-market solution to aid in defining what this emerging ad format can and should look like for years to come."

Where Are We Now?

In 2018, the Media Rating Council (MRC) issued a proposed standard for Audibility – the audio ad must be playing for two continuous seconds in a non-muted and fraud-free environment.

Last year, we worked with Professor Ted Zanto at UC San Francisco to test whether the MRC’s 2-second standard was enough time for listeners to register ad content. We found that 2 seconds is indeed enough time for an ad to make a memorable and lasting impression with consumers.

From there, Pandora and Moat launched a closed Audibility beta test with a few select advertising partners to ensure the technology was delivering accurate results. And the results for the test campaigns have been extremely positive, as Moat’s measurement lined up with expectations developed using internal data points.

Cristina Garcia, North America Senior Marketing Director, Feminine and Adult Care at Kimberly-Clark, one of our closed beta partners, had this to say about the opportunity:

“We’ve seen a growing demand for measurability and transparency in the audio advertising space and Kimberly Clark is excited to be first-to-market with Pandora and Moat to support the MRC’s 2-second audibility standard.”

What’s Next?

We are eager to move into an extended Audibility beta, which will enable Pandora to provide a more expansive offering in 2021. This beta will help answer more complex questions around how much of an ad was heard and how to optimize your creative based on these insights.

With regard to creative and format innovation, we want brands to be heard in the most compelling and apparent way. And for measurement to support this innovation. Beyond audibility, we will continue to pursue testing on optimal ad length and creative best practices. Stay tuned to hear more about this in 2021!

We are actively working to bring a robust audio measurement solution to the market in the near future. If you are interested in participating in our upcoming beta, please reach out to your Pandora rep.

[1] Pandora began working with Moat by Oracle Data Cloud in December 2019