Monday, June 4, 2018

Google's Making Move To Dominate Digital Advertising

Radio advertising is going digital thanks to streaming-music services like Pandora and Spotify, and Google wants a piece of the small but growing space.

According to BusinessInsider, the tech giant has plugged its programmatic buying platform into Spotify, SoundCloud, Google Play Music, and TuneIn so that advertisers can buy audio ads directly from DoubleClick Bid Manager the same way they do for display and video ads. It says ad inventory from Pandora, which is building a version of a programmatic platform through the $145 million acquisition of AdsWizz, will also be added in the next couple of months.

Buzz around programmatic audio advertising has been slowly building up for a few years, but the market for digital audio advertising represents only a fraction of overall radio ad spending. According to the Interactive Advertising Bureau, $1.6 billion was spent on audio ads within the US last year. To compare, advertisers spent about $18.2 billion on radio ads in 2017.

While the market is small, there's significant opportunity to crack into the space as more programming shifts to streaming, said Payam Shodjai, the director of product management at Google.

"Radio advertising has existed for 95 years — it's a little bit different from how digital ads have been auctioned," he said.

In terms of targeting, programmatic audio ads can be targeted based on demographic and age but are "not as complicated or involved as programmatic in general," he said.

Part of the reason it has taken marketers so long to go in on programmatic audio is because radio buyers are hesitant about digital's shaky conversion metrics that track whether someone purchased a product after hearing an ad for it, said John Rosso, the president of market development at Triton Digital, a supply-side platform that helps broadcasters shift to streaming.

Instead, the programmatic audio industry leans on many of the same metrics used to track digital ads, such as completion rates, impressions, and time spent, as well as stats that measure whether someone pauses a song.

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