Digital audio is exploding for marketers and listeners alike. Industry research shows the growth is undoubtedly down to the COVID-19 pandemic, similar to the increase in scale we saw across Connected TV, with more people at home with the desire to find new ways to stay entertained. Brands utilising digital audio have a unique opportunity to connect with customers on a platform with targeted reach at scale, where creators develop content quickly.
The Digital Audio Boom
Consumer habits have shifted dramatically in recent months, meaning how people engage with digital content is more disrupted than ever before. Digital audio is now at the top of the list with users listening to podcasts and music at unusual hours. Brands have therefore started to use this content’s innate appeal to their advantage. In a world rife with visual advertising, audio ads help brands attract consumers when they take a much-needed break from their screens, whether from countless Zoom meetings or endless Netflix binges. Brands that can associate themselves with something that evokes an emotional response or sense of relief in a consumer can become part of that consumer’s emotional connection to the media they’re consuming.
While terrestrial radio can be hyper-local, it is not hyper-personalised, as opposed to digital audio, which takes a hyperlocal and customised approach across all devices. Advertisers can craft ultra-personalised spots that appeal to specific consumer interests. By purchasing ads programmatically, they can mass distribute specific messaging with precision.
Purchasing spots through a DSP allows advertisers to take advantage of even more digital audio benefits. These benefits include agnostically accessing inventory across many different podcasts and streaming music publishers. The best DSPs are people-based, deduplicating users across platforms directly through hashed identifiers to their devices instead of third-party cookies.
Deterministic DSPs allow brands and agencies to create one persistent audience segment that can then target users regardless of which audio platforms they consume.
An area for development is around measurement and brand safety. One challenge to propose to DSPs and suppliers is determining how we know a user has listened to an ad, in the same way, we can ask whether someone has physically viewed a linear TV spot.
Why Brands Should Embrace Digital Audio to the Full
Brands should be taking full advantage of digital audio’s benefits. By leveraging demand-side platform (DSP) solutions when purchasing spots, we can centralise optimisation, targeting, and measurement all in one place. Through intelligent programmatic approaches and proper supply integrations, you can reach your desired audience at scale via a medium they are passionate about.
Digital Audio provides an excellent platform to deliver not only innovation, but scale, engagement and new testing opportunities, all backed up with access to 3rd and 1st party data segments we can access through a number of DSPs.
Advertisers can utilise DSPs’ advanced reporting for attribution of media exposures to the desired consumer outcome, whether online or offline sales, site visits, foot traffic, etc. With a people-based DSP, that is possible on a 1:1 basis.
By committing to an evolved programmatic approach to digital audio and partnering with a people-based DSP, brands can create meaningful connections and reap the benefits of programmatic efficiencies.