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Programmatic Audio: A Mic for Your Brand

Updated: 5 days ago

The precise, contextual targeting and emotional resonance of programmatic audio advertising are a big hit with brands.

two women talking on microphones in a studio

Did you know the vast reach and effectiveness of audio advertising can now be matched with the efficiency of programmatic buying?

Popular music and podcast platforms like Spotify and iHeartRadio can now be bought programmatically, which lets advertisers target precisely defined audiences with the automation of AI.

According to data from eMarketer, digital audio ad spend in the US alone is expected to grow by nearly 44% from 2023 to 2027! That’s a booming business.

If you've been on the fence about allocating media spend to audio ads, now's the time to dive in strategically and hand your brand the microphone.


Are audio ads effective?

In short: yes. Audio ads have the ability to reach well-targeted audiences and capture a listener's attention. They can thoroughly convey a brand's message, values, and identity and resonate with a listener emotionally if you employ a strategic sonic branding strategy ahead of time. Repeated exposure to a consistent audio branding strategy helps reinforce brand recognition and recall, and by associating itself with a listener's favorite podcast hosts, musical artists, or radio shows, a brand can build credibility, relevance, and trust among its intended demographic.

How does programmatic audio work?

Just like with CTV, display, or any other programmatically bought channel, programmatic audio advertising is the process of buying audio inventory (radio, streaming music apps, podcasts, etc) through automated means using a demand-side platform (DSP) and a supply-side platform (SSP).

Audio SSPs include Spotify and iHeartRadio, and audio DSPs include Basis Technologies and SmartyAds. A good media agency has partnerships with various ad tech vendors to get your brand the most functionality for the least investment possible.

What are the advantages of programmatic audio advertising?

A. Unparalleled Reach and Engagement

Audio is an intimate medium. People listen to music and podcasts while they’re driving, cooking, or exercising – it’s a part of their daily routine. If your brand can reach listeners while they’re engaged in daily activities and listening to content they already enjoy, they’ll likely receive and recall your message in a positive light. And you may be surprised to know that the majority of audio listeners are not paying for the premium, ad-free versions!

B. Contextual Targeting

Programmatic buying goes beyond basic demographics. You can target listeners based on specific content genres, interests, and even the time of day they're most likely to be listening. Imagine reaching fitness enthusiasts during their morning workout session or targeting foodies while they tune into a cooking podcast. This level of contextual relevance ensures your message resonates deeply with the audience, maximizing its impact.

C. Retargeting and Amplification

By leveraging insights gleaned from audio campaigns, you can retarget listeners in an omnichannel marketing strategy. For instance, a listener engaged with a sports podcast ad can be retargeted with social media ads or CTV commercials highlighting your brand's athletic wear or sports drinks. This creates a "halo effect," reinforcing your brand presence across various touchpoints and driving conversions.

D. Data-Driven Campaign Optimization

In the age of privacy regulations and the decline of third-party cookies, programmatic audio offers a valuable solution. It empowers brands to collect first-party data and track campaign performance metrics with precision. This data allows you to optimize campaigns in real-time, ensuring your budget is maximized and your message reaches the most receptive audiences.

Every single one of your target consumers is likely listening to something – music, podcasts, audiobooks – every day. With programmatic audio buying, the right ones can hear your message, too.


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