Programmatic Audio Comes Into Its Own

I've written about the rise of programmatic audio, mostly citing reports that have declared that it's simply too early to be viable. But now comes hints that the industry's fear of the advertising medium has reached its nadir.

This is being driven by three distinct trends:

  • The rising main-stream popularity of streaming music.
  • The explosion of podcasts and podcast consumption.
  • The growing demand for streaming music services to diversify their revenue streams beyond subscription-only.

As those trends converge the industry's interest in programmatic audio seems to be heating up.

Where's the proof? Well here's a start. Anna Hewitt of MediaMath reports, "A 2015 report from eMarketer estimated that the number of digital audio listeners for radio and podcasts in the US alone would grow to over 180 million by 2017, and edge closer to 200 million by 2019. More premium digital audio publishers are leaning into programmatic, such as Spotify, Pandora, iHeartRadio, CBS Radio, and regional providers like France’s Deezer and Germany’s Antenna Bayern. Most of these publishers are very new to the space, keeping most of direct sales business, and only dipping their toes with programmatic display and video. Pandora, the second largest music streaming service now after Spotify, was the last large holdout before they announced their plans to expand their programmatic reach to audio."