Advertising across digital audio platforms is maturing, with media buyers regularly placing ads in streaming services, experimenting with dynamic creative formats and beginning to embrace podcasts.

87 per cent of media buyers used ads within streaming services in 2018 according to IAB Audio Advertising State of the Nation Report which was released today.

The report, which covers broadcast radio, streaming digital audio, DAB+ and podcasts, is based on a survey of more than 240 decision makers or influences responsible for the allocation of marketing spend and either placed or plan audio ad campaigns.

“Streaming audio is now cemented as part of the commercial media market and we are pleased to release the third wave of this important industry audio research to help the audio market thrive in 2019,” said Gai Le Roy, IAB Australia CEO.

According to the survey, 70 per cent of media buyers intend to invest in cross platform (broadcast and digital) opportunities from radio networks.

However 25 per cent of agencies that still have separate functions for planning and/or buying their radio and streaming audio —  the same level as the last wave of research 12 months ago. The remaining three quarters are buying through a joint team.

Source: IAB Audio Advertising State of the Nation Report

The report shows podcasts are starting to gain traction, 20 per cent of media buyers regularly bought podcast advertising in 2018 – up from 14 per cent in 2017. A further in four in 10 buyers experimented with podcast ads in 2018 and an additional 28 per cent are looking to try for the first time in 2019.

While in markets like the US podcast ads have been used for direct response, in Australia 50 per cent of podcast ad investors used the format to meet brand awareness goals. Just 12 per cent of buyers using it for direct response campaigns, according to the survey.

The report noted media buyers have more brand safety concerns around podcasts, compared with other audio channels, due to the variety of content in market.

It’s still early days for voice marketing. Just 9 per cent of buyers are already active in this space and it is emerging as a strategy for consideration through 2019.  

Dynamic audio

Advertisers and media buyers are also interested in the new ad placements and creative formats available in through the audio streaming services.

Nearly a quarter of buyers have used dynamic audio creative so far, but a further 57 per cent are looking to recommend dynamic audio creative development for clients in 2019.   

Dynamic audio is creative which has been personalised based on a listeners behaviour or profile, for example a geo-specific message could be inserted into an ad to direct a listener to a certain store location or car dealership.

According to the IAB report, driving the use of dynamic audio creative is the ability to use data and targeting capabilities of streaming services and programmatic audio.  

During an event hosted by the IAB in Sydney this morning, Matt Bryant Spotify Australia’s creative solutions lead highlighted a campaign for Deliveroo in the UK which had 48,000 possible versions of the same ad. Audio adtech platforms stitch together segments of audio based on the time of day, day of week and local suburb to tailor the ad.

Locally, brands such as Weiss, Pepsi and Pizza Hut have used dynamic audio creative.

When creating these campaigns, Bryant recommended only using two to three variables and to look for the easy efficiencies such as having a call to action for different physical locations and product messages relevant to the time of day.

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