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2019 Outlook: The Year of Audio?

2019 Outlook: The Year of Audio?

Written by enCOMPASS Agency

Over the past couple of years, the enCOMPASS team has been increasingly favorable toward programmatic ad buying—a method we’ve employed on behalf of many of our clients.

We’ve written about it in the past, but for anyone who needs a quick refresher, programmatic ad buying basically means using algorithms to more precisely match your ads with your intended audience. Because you can zero in on the exact audience you’re trying to reach—using a precise, data-driven approach—you can ensure that you are paying for ads that are truly effective, delivered to the right people at the right time. Programmatic ad buying eliminates much of the waste and inefficiency from traditional ad buying.

Another advantage to programmatic buying is that you can target your audience across different platforms and devices—for example, programmatic ad buying might encompass display ads, mobile ads, TV ads, social ads… the possibilities go on and on.

And now, we can add audio ads to that list, because today we can programmatically buy ads on streaming music services like Spotify, iHeart Radio, and Pandora—potentially a gamechanger for the industry and a boon to our clients.

Why Programmatic Audio is the Future

Programmatic audio has been something of a Holy Grail for advertisers for years now—and 2019 is poised to be the year it really takes off. A quick survey of the industry reveals that many major advertisers are poised for an audio revolution—consider AdsWizz being acquired by Pandora, or SiriusXM’s efforts to snatch up Pandora. The bottom line: Many in the advertising industry believe that programmatic audio is the next step forward.

To understand why programmatic audio is so promising, just think for a minute about digital media usage. It’s no secret that mobile is the driving force here; statistics reveal that most Americans spend several hours on their mobile devices each and every day. And much of that time is spent listening to streaming music services—an activity that accounts for a large percentage of average daily mobile use.

That brings us to programmatic audio and why it’s so beneficial. Look at it this way: Historically, in order to reach your audience on radio, you had to buy a time on a station that fit your demographic. With digital audio, you can buy your demographic without the need to tie it to a specific genre or station. And with programmatic, you can buy the audience you desire based not just on demographic data but also on behavioral and contextual data, ensuring a more audience-first model. You can be sure you’re reaching the right audience as opposed to just hoping that your message gets through.

A final note here is that streaming music services aren’t just about music. Podcasts, news updates, and even audiobooks are increasingly popular among mobile users. To recap, then: More and more people are using their mobile devices for listening, and those listening habits are splintering into highly-specific niches. With programmatic buying, however, you can target buyers—even in these splintered niches—with much greater precision. This is because it doesn’t really matter what you are listening to; if you have shown that you are more likely to respond to the message, programmatic will serve you the ad, whether that’s during a playlist or a podcast.

Take Advantage of Digital Audio

Programmatic audio presents a whole new option for advertisers to connect with the end user—and it retains all those core advantages that have always made programmatic ad buying advantageous: Advanced targeting, backed by real data and algorithmic sophistication, to ensure that ad dollars are used effectively.

This is going to be one of the biggest digital advertising trends of 2019, and we’re happy to be in on the ground floor. We’re also happy to talk with any of our clients about what programmatic audio might mean for them. Reach out to enCOMPASS any time you’d like to brainstorm!