In This Episode, We Discuss:
- Audio is a uniquely powerful way for brands to engage with consumers.
- New types of access and measurement that programmatic advertising affords in audio.
- The keys to an omnichannel strategy and driving outcomes with audio.
- The rise of smart speakers, and new forms of advertising.
- New ways of segmenting audiences using audio.
- Key challenges remaining for the digital audio space.
The uniqueness of audio for advertising
“Audio offers things you don't have with visuals. You have theater of the mind. And when you're describing something, it’s as if you were whispering a brand into someone's ear directly.”
There is an intimacy that comes with powerful audio content, Tony and Julia note. Julia notes that neuroscientists have found that sound is an especially effective way of stirring response. “What you hear tells you what you actually feel about something” without distractions, she says.
“Try watching a scary movie with the sound off, and you'll see how critical sound is to generate an emotional response.”
Julia adds that streaming audio should no longer be considered “the younger brother of AM/FM” radio.
“Clients and agencies want to reach audiences they can't reach through radio, display or video, to deliver the message at the right time, in the right place and in the right context.”
“Intimacy is something podcasting has had in its DNA from the beginning. It's almost like you're entering this kind of walled garden, this rarefied air of an environment where the audience is super-connected to the content.”
Digital audio is encouraging more omnichannel buying and results
Tony says digital is breaking down silos and opening up new opportunities for media across channels, and that “programmatic is really at the center of that.” Buyers who used to buy media based on ratings are now showing increasing interest in impression-based buying, which is “a major first step to start people talking about programmatic buying,” he says.
“All of a sudden, we’re getting more interest in CPM over CPP.” (Cost Per Point, also known as the Cost Per Gross Rating, is a measure of cost versus total audience share.)
— Tony Hereau
He notes that multiple categories are leveraging omnichannel strategies that include audio to reinforce the power of their messaging to drive outcomes. Those categories include retail, home improvement, and quick service restaurants. Julia adds automotive to the mix.
There are “new ways to activate digitally while delivering a message to a broad audience in an offline manner,” Tony says. “They can show results from the digital components, but they're using over-the-air component as a lever to really boost those results.”
Programmatic is introducing new capabilities
Tony and Julia discuss how “host reads” connect with engaged audiences in unique ways, while programmatic ads scale, reach, and measurement to the mix, with its ability to access listeners dynamically via DSPs. Centralized buying gives easy access to top digital audio inventory from multiple sources, they note.
“You can now combine data from your audio, video and display campaigns to get a holistic view and optimize fluidly across devices and channels.”
— Julia Rast
“There's so many ways to plan your audio strategies and to achieve your KPIs. And in that sense, the audio landscape is becoming more mature than we might realize.”
— Julia Rast
Audio is probably undervalued
Americans spend about 15% of their time in electronic media with AM/FM radio, but AM/FM gets only about 7% of spend, Tony says.
“I do think audio is undervalued…. It could have double the revenue, and it still would be not getting its fair share.”
— Tony Hereau
Smart speakers are on the rise
Tony and Julia discuss emerging technologies. Among them are smart speakers, now penetrating a third of American homes — which could rise to 50% after the coming holidays, a proportion that would represent “a kind of inflection point,” Tony says.
“The smart speaker offers up a lot of cool tools that we can leverage when it comes to people responding to ads, gathering big data around audiences that are open to being served ads that are relevant to them based on their other activity that they do on these smart devices and how it connects to their other behaviors.”
— Tony Hereau