Programmatic audio - Changing the way of buying audio ads online | Publications

In this article, we are taking a closer look at online audio advertising and how changes are being made in the way these ads are bought. First of all, we will hand you a brief introduction to what exactly programmatic audio buying is, followed by what the advantages are compared your standard digital audio buying and lastly, what the possibilities in Belgium are.

What is programmatic audio buying?

Only recently introduced in Belgium, programmatic audio buying is a different way of reaching audiophiles all around the country and at any time via audio ads online. This through programmatic media buying. But what does that mean? By using Demand-Side-Platforms or DSPs such as DoubleClick’s bid manager, advertisers and media buyers are able to enter auction-based & real time bidding for ad placements.

Buying media programmatically has already been available for quite some time for display (bannering) and video advertising. However, now, audio formats are being added to that list.

Advantages of programmatic audio buying. How is this a step forward?

With 27% of time spent per day on mobile devices listening to audio, programmatic audio advertising allows us to reach out to our target audience where and when we want.

Being able to buy audio ads programmatically is a large step forward. Before, audio ads where only possible through direct deals which had to be negotiated with and created by the streaming services. This process lead to quite some red tape which can now be resolved to some extent using DoubleClick. The main advantages are:

  • Run time flexibility: An advertiser/media agency can now choose to activate/pause their audio ads at any given point. In a direct deal, the run time period is fixed.
  • More flexible pricing: While direct deals work with a fixed media budget, programmatic audio buying allows for setting your own budget. 
  • Campaign monitoring and reporting: Follow-up on the evolution of a campaign’s performance becomes more transparent. Campaign results can now easily be followed in the DoubleClick platform where this used to be on SSP side.
  • All-in-one reporting: with the integration of audio ads in DoubleClick, we can easily report on both digital and audio formats within the same platform.
  • Customisation & personalisation: Using additional data signals, the possibilities of customisation become endless. Think here for example about customizing your audio ads based on a person’s music preference or past behavior on your website through remarketing.

There is however a general disadvantage to buying audio ads through auction-based bidding. One of the key characteristics of programmatic buying is the fact that delivery of ad impressions is not guaranteed, which is the case using a direct deal negotiated with the SSP.

Possibilities of programmatic audio in Belgium

At this point in time, in Belgium, programmatic audio buying is still limited to the music streaming platform, Spotify. To get a little more technical, audio ads will be available through a specific kind of deal (PMP - Private Marketplace Deals) and can be set up with different Supply-Side Platforms or SSPs such as Rubicon and AppNexus in DoubleClick Bid Manager. The ads will be available for both mobile and desktop devices using Spotify.
Right now, Spotify is the only music streaming platform in Belgium partnering up with Google’s DoubleClick in order to make this happen. Nonetheless, we can expect others to follow in their footsteps. To name another, think about other popular music streaming website such as for example Soundcloud.
Ultimately, the technology behind this form of buying could be pushed even further beyond online music streaming. In the long term, programmatic audio buying could even be applied the buying of audio ads in the form of radio spots on the most popular radio stations, which, would be milestone in the fast-evolving industry of online advertising.

In summary

With Spotify audio ad buying through DoubleClick, Google has opened up the niche market of online audio advertising to the Belgian advertiser. Doing so, allows advertisers to be more flexible in terms of timing and pricing when running audio campaigns online and of course receive greater value in terms of reporting and monitoring. We expect this space to grow quickly over the years and months to come, making it a dominant buying method over time.

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