IAB held its Digital Audio Agency Day on Wednesday morning, preceding RAIN Summit NYC. Attendees filled The Greene Center in downtown Manhattan to hear research, panel sessions, and a keynote from RAIN’s Kurt Hanson.
The event was constructed by the IAB’s Digital Audio Committee, co-chaired by Mike Agovino (Triton Digital) and Doug Sterne (Pandora). The stage host was Leigh Feirrera, Director of Industry Initiatives at IAB who oversees the Digital Audio Committee. “Ensuring traditional dollars are being considered for the interactive space” is a core task of the committee, Feirrera notes in opening remarks. Mike Agovina added this mission statement in his introduction: “Evangelize this [digital audio] space, get advertisers and agencies to understand the growth trajectory of the space, its targeting capabilities, and recognize the value proposition that digital audio offers.”
The conference timing was fortuitous, as Triton Digital brought out its 2013 summary of streaming the day before, showing dramatic year-over-year growth of online listening, as well as a shift to mobile. Early in his remarks, Agovino said: “The evolution is on in a very big way.”
A research presentation from Edison Research revisited that company’s previous report commissioned by the Streaming Audio Taskforce, which revealed that over 50 percent of online Americans listen to Internet audio. Breaking apart that study, president Larry Rosin discussed listening habits of the 18-34 demographic. Eighty-nine percent of that cohort listens to AM/FM radio, Rosin said, with most of that exposure occurring in the car.
At the same time, 80% of the demographic also listens to Internet radio, supporting Rosin’s thesis that the whole audio pie is growing bigger through the addition of listening hours in the day, and new listening environments. (Edison measures “walking around” listening.) “Audio is a booming category,” said Rosin. His assessment of Internet radio’s most attractive feature? “The ability to skip songs is the killer app.”
Spotify: We can reconstruct you
Gary Liu, Global Director of Ad Product Strategy at Spotify, presented information on audience targeting. Liu himself described Spotify’s ability to learn about its users through data analysis as “a little scary. We can reconstruct who you are and what you’re doing.” Great news for advertisers, of course. Liu’s overall message: “Music is one of the best weapons you can bring to the [brand] loyalty battle.”
Podcasting played a big part in the entire day’s events, in both the IAB and RAIN portions. The IAB’s Podcast Marketing session featured Patty Newmark (CEO, Newmark Advertising), Roby Wiener (EVP of PodcastOne), Scott McDonell (VP, LegalZoom), and Jeff Ullrich (co-founder of Earwolf). The discussion dug into streaming vs. downloading of podcast progams. audience size, and value to advertisers. Direct response advertising is building a track record of success. Building on that success requires unique standards of tracking and pricing.
Jeff Ullrich illustrated the high engagement of podcast audiences when he noted that a recent 15-minute survey was completed by 37,000 people, an impressive number. He credits high audience retention and engagement to an inherent intimacy of podcasts. The killer content category for podcasting, according to Jeff Ullrich? Comedy.
Here is a video of the entire IAB converence: