What Does the Future Sound Like: The Power of Programmatic

Alexis van de Wyer, CEO, Adswizz

The rise of digital audio, as a medium and as a platform for advertisers, is a trend that can no longer be ignored. All over the world, we’re consuming more audio than ever before. In 2016, Nielsen found that people consumed 1.5x more audio than video. On-demand audio streams surpassed 400 billion in 2017, compared to 252 billion in 2016.

In this new era of audio, digital audio advertising is poised for massive growth. The future of advertising is digital — personalized, targeted, and available in unique, innovative formats that can be delivered at scale thanks to programmatic buying.

“Programmatic” ad buying refers to the use of software to purchase digital advertising, as opposed to the traditional manual process, and it’s changing how advertising is done by offering the ability to dissect information efficiently and effectively, and providing more granular targeting.

So, what does the future sound like?

Programmatic = Personal We all have individual music tastes and listening habits, and we’re used to being able to personalize our listening experience by creating music stations by genre or artist, or curating a set of our favorite podcasts. That makes audio a perfect medium to enable a uniquely tailored experience for each individual consumer.

Today, programmatic advertising enables advertisers to have a conversation with consumers, tailored to their preferences, mood, activity, weather conditions or location. Audio offers a unique opportunity to understand the thoughts and behaviors of a listener without being intrusive.

And there’s more to come. Soon, AdsWizz technology will be able to transcribe audio in real time to better understand content for targeting. The industry also is working toward better attribution in understanding listener impact, such as making a purchase or going into a store—and even toward direct voice interaction with ads.

New Innovative Audio Ad Formats Imagine that a jogger jamming out to their favorite Pandora station hears your ad, and can download a coupon for your product—redeemable at the nearest retail location—with a simple shake of the phone. They don’t have to unlock their device, or even break stride to look at it. And, imagine you can track foot traffic into your store just from the experience. Now, picture being able to do that at scale. Welcome to the world of programmatic audio.

Combining what we learn from a user with the technology to deliver different messages gives us unique new methods to engage them, from customizing a creative message for each individual consumer, to simply asking a multitasking listener to shake their phone to download a coupon. The AdsWizz “ShakeMe™ technology in the example above has delivered strong engagement results for major brands such as BMW, Wells Fargo, and Best Buy.

Second Screen, another example of a new audio format that allows advertisers to target listeners on a second device in the same household, has also proven effective with higher engagement and brand recall. Data shows that engagement with Second Screen ads increases engagement with the display creative up to 400 percent.

The Future of Programmatic Audio Given the possibilities, it’s no surprise that programmatic audio has taken firm hold around the world. In Australia, almost 100% of audio is done programmatically, and in the UK, it’s nearly 60%. We’re in the initial stages of this in the US, but we expect an aggressive push into programmatic during the next few years.

Two trends are driving this push. The first is cost savings. Programmatic allows media buyers to fully automate their buys while offering the consumer a more personalized experience. Second, innovative brands that know programmatic are looking to audio to expand what they’re doing in other mediums.

And of course, as mentioned above, programmatic audio gives advertisers the unique opportunity to reach the largest number of listeners—with precise 1:1 targeting—within a brand-safe environment. At the same time, it provides holistic yield optimization of direct sales, networks, and programmatic demand.

Ultimately, we see the audio industry transitioning from traditional one-way advertising to a conversation between brand and consumer. Someday, this conversation could be just a few seconds long—for example, “Hey, we noticed you’re going to Maui next month. There’s a great hotel promotion, are you interested?”

According to Gartner, by the end of 2018, 30 percent of our interactions with technology will be through “conversations” with smart devices. By 2022 it will reach 80 percent. Programmatic audio provides advertisers with a medium for having these conversations at scale, and actually interacting with the consumer.

Getting excited for the potential of programmatic audio? You can learn more about what’s possible here at AdsWizz.

Listen to Alexis van de Wyer and other industry experts answer the question: What Does the Future Sound Like?