Ad Buyers Gravitate to Programmatic Audio With Efficiency, Targeting in Mind

September 11, 2017

Three in 10 ad buyers are using programmatic platforms for radio and digital audio today, and another 57% would like to in the next 12 months, according to a report from WideOrbit. As a result, two-thirds of buyers expect to spend more on programmatic audio next year, per the study.

Radio isn’t the only traditional medium expected to see more programmatic transactions: a recent survey found 64% of decision-makers believing that the majority of TV buying industry-wide will be done programmatically within the next 3-5 years.

It’s worth noting that WideOrbit is a media technology platform – but it says that the the surveys “were sent anonymously with no intentional disclosure of the entity fielding the survey.”

Streaming services such as Spotify and Pandora garner the most interest as audio inventory sources (93%), per the survey’s results. Music streaming has rapidly gained in popularity in recent years, growing to a majority of recorded music revenues. As such, they are a logical destination for programmatic buying – and as the report points out, already are offering much inventory through programmatic channels.

Notably, interest in programmatic buying of broadcast radio (65%) is on par with digital audio streams of radio content (67%), as the majority of buyers don’t distinguish between broadcast and digital platforms.

As with the broader programmatic advertising market, buyers are attracted primarily to improved audience targeting (85%). In terms of the data sources buyers want to use for audience targeting, Arbitron/Nielsen (90%) is the clear leader, though many would also want to use Rentrak/comScore (60%). First party data (43%) is the choice for fewer buyers.

Along with audience targeting, real-time campaign optimization and reporting (75%) is also perceived to be a key benefit. These are considered important programmatic platform capabilities, as are audience size and guaranteed delivery.

But when it comes to the success of a programmatic solution, efficiency leads the pack for buyers: more than 6 in 10 will evaluate success based on the solution’s ability to lower eCPMs and increase media efficiency (62%).

Incremental audience reach (54%) is also a key success metric, while direct response metrics (51%) are slightly favored over brand lift and recall (42%).

About the Data: The results are based on responses from ad buyers, from a survey of 255 ad buyers and radio industry professionals. Ad buyers came from a mix of traditional and digital media buyers.


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