“Audio is the most powerful way of communicating”: Notes from Veritonic Audio Intelligence Summit

RAIN News dropped in for the Veritonic Audio Intelligence Summit in Manhattan yesterday. In the “Second Story” space of the Kimpton Hotel Eventi, a Covid-vaxxed and tested audience of audio industry professionals gathered to attend a series of presentations which evangelized and explained how audio branding is made and tested, and how it can define brand identity. Presenting sponsors were SXM Media and NPR.

“Audio is the most powerful way of communicating,” declared Veritonic CEO Scott Simonelli to start off the day. Key topical points in the program’s mix of panels, solo presentations, and entertaining demonstrations included telling authentic stories, how successful brands are leveraging audio, how to make successful creative, and an entertaining live demonstration of building a sonic brand.

One of the most revelatory parts of the day was delivered by Nils d’Aulaire, Creative Director, Studio Resonate, SXM Media. (Studio Resonate is a unit within Pandora, an SXM Media subsidiary.) The topic was sonic racism, and d’Aulaire quoted studies — performed with Veritonic and run on the Pandora platform — which tested listener assumptions and responsiveness to audio voiced by people across the racial spectrum. He noted that sonic racial characterizing goes back to Amos ‘n’ Andy on the radio: “The aural version of blackface,” d’Aulaire said. (More information is HERE.)

Then there was the Tostitos presentation. The snack company walked through the meticulous process of creating an audio logo that is 1.4 second in length, and is made of several elements. We saw some video of the process, and then a live demonstration by Lucas Murray from Made Music Studio, who (with munching help from audience volunteers) “played” a big table stacked with bags of chips and jars of dip, using a small keyboard and sampled sounds to build a symphonic rhapsody around the Tostitos audio logo.

Korri Kolesa, formerly CRO of Midroll Media, then COO of Art19 when it was acquired by Amazon Music, and now the new CRO of Veritonic, closed the day with a short address.


Brad Hill