Digital audio advertising to double in two years, keyed to programmatic (SURVEY)


The percentage of media buying strategy dedicated to digital audio will grow from 7.5% today to 14.8% in two years, nearly a doubling of commitment to digital audio. That is the headline result of a newly released survey collaboration produced by AdAge and The Trade Desk.

“Few media experiences are as personal as audio,” the report reads. “It may be the least flashy of digital channels, but more than a century after the introduction of broadcast radio, audio is hotter than ever.”

The research is presented as a whitepaper which evangelizes the unique properties of streaming audio. “Consumers love digital audio,” the document declares, and that extends to a marketing opportunity to reach consumers through their ears in “earbud moments.”

Programmatic buying is closely tied to growing adoption of digital audio, according to the report. In one projection, respondents who “use or plan to use” programmatic buying expect to adopt digital audio 12 months from now to a greater extent (15.8%) than buyers who don’t use programmatic (11.6%).


The U.S. digital buying community has a head start on this trend compared to international respondents. In the U.S., anticipated inclusion of digital audio in media campaigns is predicted to grow from 7.2% to 11.9% in the U.S. Internationally, the growth is projected from 4.8% to 9.1%.

Streaming music is the main breadwinner in this report, capturing 68% of buyer interest among digital audio categories. Podcasting has also attracted substantial interest, claiming 42% of interest in content categories.

Questions about programmatic as an audio buying environment were nicely rewarded for The Trade Desk, with 69% of respondents agreeing that targeting and attribution were tipping-point factors in audio buying. A quote from Benjamin Masse of Triton Digital promotes the value of cross-category buying that includes audio: “The addition of programmatic audio to a banner campaign can generate four times as many conversions. It’s one of the better ways to measure audio lift when considering multichannel campaigns.”

Alexis van de Wyer, CEO of AdsWizz, takes a futuristic slant in this statement: “What’s missing so far, but coming, is new types of rich audio-specific formats. Instead of offering a banner to click on as in display, you can tell the listener to shake or tap their phone to download a coupon. Live interactions via voice activation are another interesting possibility to explore.”

Brad Hill