Programmatic solves liquidity problem in streaming audio ads: RAIN/WideOrbit webinar report

Programmatic Fast-Tracks Revenue whitepaper download 300x250In a highly engaged webinar yesterday, RAIN News and WideOrbit presented a RAIN Report webinar to hundreds of industry professionals on programmatic advertising for digital audio, called Programmatic Fast-Tracks Revenue Growth for Digital Audio. (Complete video webinar recording at the end of this article.)

Brian Burdick, EVP of Digital and Programmatic at WideOrbit, authored a whitepaper which served as the basis of the webinar presentation and discussion. (Download the whitepaper here, free of charge.) Burdick also answered questions in a vigorous Q&A portion of the program.

The webinar built an argument that streaming audio ad inventory is severely undervalued compared to other categories (particularly video), though it delivers reach, engagement, and effectiveness that warrants competitive pricing. The problem? Liquidity, according to Burdick, who identified lack of inventory volume and “bid density” as key issues that keep CPMs for digital audio low.

To unpack that core issue, Burdick laid out five “key frictions” that prevent advertisers and agencies from buying into audio advertising. Those frictions inhibit buyers from discovering audio inventory — it’s an invisibility problem, Burdick said. Lack of standardization in the streaming audio industry is another frictional bottleneck. Other market frictions presented by audio publishers raise costs for agencies accustomed to software-driven buying platforms, steering them away from the audio category.

Programmatic platforms offer key solutions to the frictions which slow down proper valuation of digital audio, according to the report. Brian Burdick described how programmatic attracts more advertisers, allows them to bring their own data about audience targeting preferences, and simplifies processes to lower costs for buyers.

The webinar audience demonstrated its interest in this topic with an extremely engaged Q&A session, in which Brian Burdick answered a broad range of questions about the mechanics of programmatic, his projection of how quickly it will be adopted, and its effect on ad pricing.

Watch the entire program here:

Brad Hill