Audio as a channel has been growing in popularity with consumers and marketers steadily over the last several years, we all know that. Many of you are already using the channel, to some extent. I will share some key data below but the bigger question is, how do you scale audio efficiently. This means how do you find more listeners, at the right price, with the right measurement/optimization, and protect against fraud.
Most brands started with Spotify, much like they started with Yahoo in the late 90’s with display. But now that the channel is all grown up, where do you go? Many brands and agencies gravitate toward The Trade Desk because it’s easy and they can align their campaigns with other channels, but is this the best approach for a channel that isn’t native to TTD? I have spoken to many buyers that have purchased audio via TTD and they weren’t thrilled with the scale, measurement, or cost (especially the hidden fees).
When I worked at Criteo, people, especially our competitors, would always ask me how we were able to scale and drive performance the way we did. The answer sits within the details. At Criteo, we were tapping into inventory directly from the publishers ad servers, well before the inventory trickled down the waterfall to the ad exchanges where our competitors were playing. Criteo could afford to buy on higher CPM’s because they had the Engineers and Data Scientists to support their bidding which allowed them to sell on a CPC and still make money. Our competitors didn’t so they waited for the cheap inventory within the exchanges but that was often too late. Yes, this is now called Header Bidding but in 2010, no one else was doing it. Audiohook operates much like Criteo did in 2010. Audiohook has assembled the largest set of publishers in the industry with direct access to their inventory. Others wait for it to trickle down to the exchanges. So not only do brands get higher quality inventory, but they get better attribution, measurement, and fraud protection. These are things that cost extra and need to be added on at other DSP’s. They are integrated and included at Audiohook.
If you need anything that isn’t supplied, the costs will be passed through so there will not be any hidden fees. Audio as a Channel for marketing includes streaming, podcasts, and broadcast. Yes, many of the radio stations you listen to on the FM (and maybe some AM) dial are digitally broadcast and can therefore be purchased programmatically. So if you are still on the fence over Audio as a Channel for your brand(s), let’s have a look at the numbers: For perspective, the audio ad market is expected to take in $6.6 Billion this year with about 1/3 of that going to podcasts. Although podcasts are what advertisers gravitate toward, there is plenty of opportunity within streaming and digital broadcast. Podcasts can be great from an integration perspective but it requires communication with individual shows and it isn’t dynamic, yet.