Streaming audio goes mainstream

 In Blog

Look what the cat dragged in to this year’s radio budget

Streaming audio is as old as the iPhone, but recent announcements from Google Home (and others) have created a new line item in the radio budgets of media buyers.

“From what we saw in the UK and the United States, we knew [streaming audio] would be popular with agencies and advertisers. What we didn’t account for was the tremendous pent up demand waiting for the service. For brands looking to connect with Canadian consumers in every market, this feels like a whole new game,” says the CEO of Western Media Group, David St Laurent.

These early days of programmatic audio in Canada have been very kind to those who have adopted the format. Not only are streaming audio ads served one-to-one, but they are brand safe, auditable and offer the kind of attribution and transparency agencies now demand.

These features, combined with the simplicity of execution makes for a strong argument to include streaming and programmatic audio to be part of every radio plan.

“It’s tough to poke holes in streaming audio,” says Marc Brasset, Western Media Group’s head of digital strategy. “In the beginning there was a supply constraint; some audiences were hard to find. But with smart speakers, new partnerships and increased supply the market has opened right up.”

“The next shoe to drop is the connected car. Streaming audio is where disappearing audiences have been hiding.”

The Rise of Programmatic Audio

Western Media Group is a media marketing firm that creates products so that agencies and brands can find audiences. With a presence in everything from search marketing to out-of-home and traditional television and radio broadcast, programmatic audio fills a unique function among several digital verticals.

“We’ve had a programmatic trading desk for a long time. At one point we saw what was happening at Spotify and SoundCloud and thought: hey, what if we offered digital audio alongside programmatic display and video? It’s worked out great for our advertisers,” says Omar Diaz, Sales Manager of Western Media Group.

Building on years of experience negotiating supply and exchange agreements on behalf of Canadian advertising agencies and brands, Western Media Group signed a multi-year exclusive with Triton Digital, one of the world’s leading digital audio technology vendors. Western Media Group represents the a2x Canada audio exchange.

“We have an outstanding partnership with both Triton Digital for audio and Acuity Ads for programmatic display, two powerhouses of technical execution,” said Mr. St Laurent.

Right mood, right time

“One thing that the technical people don’t often consider is that when people are listening to their favourite playlist or podcast, they’re in a good mood,” said Jenny Goodman, Account Executive at Western Media Group. “Where else can you find people in a good mood while they’re listening to a captive ad format? It’s a rare opportunity.”

“Advertisers of all shapes and sizes can take advantage of what streaming audio has to offer. We’re seeing clients earmark as much as 15% of their terrestrial radio budget to streaming.” — Jenny Goodman, Western Media Group

Besides the captive, good mood, non-skippable audience, there are two other major benefits of programmatic audio: different ads can be served to incrementally different audiences.

A 45 year old male listening to ‘The Velvet Underground’ can be served a different ad than a 26 year old female listening to the same song. As the relationship with various audiences develops over time, this level of customization is key to converting at higher rates.

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Contact Western Media Group:
David St Laurent, CEO,
(604) 736–6628 ext 223
david [at] westernmediagroup.ca

Marc Brasset, Head of Digital Strategy
(604) 736–6628 ext 224
marc [at] westernmediagroup.ca

Jenny Goodman, Account Executive
(604) 736–6628 ext 225
jenny [at] westernmediagroup.ca
Visit Western Media Group online at westernmediagroup.ca
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