Education needed in programmatic audio


While marketers are conservative in their approach to allocating significant budgets to audio, there is an opportunity to increase programmatic audio spend if the sector can address concerns around measurement.

Research from programmatic media business Xaxis, based on an online survey among 499 European-based traditional radio planners, digital planners, brands and agencies, publishers and media owners, suggests that the full potential of audio is not being realised in the region.

The Audio Stream to Revenue Stream report found that 59% of buy-side respondents were already utilising the capabilities of programmatic audio to some extent, but spend remains low (79% invest less than 10% of total ad spend on audio).

But a similar proportion (60%) signalled they were looking to increase their programmatic audio spend over the next 18 months.

“We’re buoyed by the confidence that buy-side stakeholders will very likely plan to increase programmatic audio spend in the near future, although there is work to be done to educate,” John Wittesaele, EMA President, Xaxis, acknowledged in the report.

That’s because just 15% of buy-side marketers felt confident in their understanding of programmatic audio, although they evidently appreciate how audio complements the media mix (63%), reaches specific audiences (59%) and raises brand awareness (58%).

The two significant barriers to increased investment in programmatic audio that the research identified were the lack of understanding of its impact on total revenue (49%) and the perceived low availability of technology (44%).

This echoes 2018 research from the UK which found that only half of agencies and advertisers agreed that digital audio can prove its effectiveness, but DAX – the Global-owned ad platform that serves 180 digital audio publishers – claims that its proprietary Listener ID technology solves that issue.

“At the top of the funnel, we use brand studies to help us determine what effect that digital audio is having on shifting your core brand metrics,” Kelly Welsh, senior digital media manager at Global, told a recent IAB event in London. (For more, read WARC’s report: Going full funnel with digital audio.)

“For interest and consideration, we can use Listener ID.” This also plays into intent by tracking visits to sites and onsite behaviour, including purchase. “And we can also implement footfall tracking to see what offline effects digital audio is having.”

Sourced from Xaxis; additional content by WARC staff

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