Google seems to think so, as the ad serving giant recently announced it is “plugging into streaming music services like Spotify and Pandora” with its DoubleClick platform. That means that advertisers can dynamically bid on audio ad placements using Google’s platform just like they do for AdWords and display. By combining data from Google with Spotify and Pandora data, advertisers are likely to be able to more finely tune who hears which brand messages and when they hear them.
As AdAge points out, digital audio ads only generated about $1.6 billion in the U.S. last year, which is relatively small. However, this is a rapidly growing channel to reach audiences, as it represents a nearly 40% jump over the previous year. Of course, the platforms already sell ads themselves, but are likely hoping to sell more, even if it’s at a lower CPM as is often the case with programmatic ads.
So, will buying ads on these services programmatically be worth it? Consider this: the two audio streaming services have a combined active user base of more than 210 million, and are probably the most well-known among similar services, though their overall base is still a relatively small fraction of all audio streaming users, which is about 10 times as big. That said, these new partnerships could represent an opportunity for more dynamically-served audio ads. And for marketers looking for a competitive advantage, the potentially lower placement costs, more accurately targeted ads, and dynamically served messages may prove to be quite effective. As we noted last year, you really can’t go wrong with radio advertising.
If you’d like to explore options with streaming audio ads, we can help. Whether you want to test the waters or go all in, we can help you find the best ways to reach your audience using audio—and any other channels as well.