Digital audio offers great flexibility in how it's consumed, allowing users to listen during their daily commutes, at work, mowing the lawn and in dozens of other scenarios — all enabled by their mobile devices.
Brands outside the audio industry are beginning to see the opportunity of an audio streaming service as an advertising opportunity. According to a survey from Advertising Age reported by eMarketer, on average, 7 percent of advertising budgets were allocated to digital audio. But those same respondents expected this budget share to reach 11.6 percent within the next year.
That considerable growth underscores the cultural impact of digital audio and the desire by brands to reach customers through this channel. While some early innovators already have investments in this area, other businesses are trying to understand why digital audio matters and how to enter this advertising space.
The Value of Customer Ears
Currently, it's estimated that 57 percent of Americans listen to digital audio on a monthly basis, according to Edison Research. The average weekly audio user consumes more than 12 hours of content every week.
This listening activity can be easier to track than radio, which simplifies ad-buying. Since users play audio through digital apps on their phones, streaming services can offer better data to improve ad targeting to specific customers. Running audio ads through a programmatic solution helps brands drive better ROI from these campaigns than ever before.
How to Buy Digital Audio Ads
This audio inventory is freely available through primary marketplaces managing programmatic ad buying. Typically, an audio streaming service strikes a deal with one or more marketplaces to sell off its ad inventory. The marketplaces then enable programmatic purchasing services that improve revenues for the ad platforms while helping ad buyers get more value for their spending.
Like other types of programmatic ad buying, audio inventory purchases can be made almost in real-time, and programmatic filtering allows for targeting according to location, age and other demographic and behavioral information. Similar to how digital video channels work, advertising can now be matched to customers based on their information, not the audio content.
The size of audio inventory provides significant benefits. With so much freely available through ad exchanges, advertisers can find the best match for their content. This large inventory encourages deeper ad investments and production since the past constraints of limited inventory discouraged some advertisers from making deep investments into audio.
Advertising via streaming audio may not be a major component of your marketing strategy, but it merits greater consideration as programmatic ad buying makes channels easier to access and more valuable than ever before. It might be time to have a conversation about how budget resources are allocated to new audio ventures.