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Brief Published: 9 Jun 2016

Monetising Digital Audio

Pandora's interactive video ads

A survey from global analytics company Comscore found that 20% of US consumers now listen to a podcast at least once a month, and find audio ads to be the least obtrusive digital advertising format when they do.

The digital audio market is experiencing steady growth – the average US consumer now listens to 143 minutes of streamed audio a day, up 13% from 2014 (Nielsen, 2015). In response, publishers are monetising audio with new ad formats.

American music streaming platform Pandora reduces friction between video advertising and audio media with new responsive mobile display ads that sit in the space otherwise occupied by album art.

Meanwhile, US computing company IBM's new Watson Ads are promising for hands- and eyes-free engagement. Powered by the tech giant's artificial intelligence engine Watson, the digital ads let consumers ask direct questions by voice, and receive brand-relevant answers.

Speaking to Adweek, Jeremy Steinberg, global head of sales at US forecasting tech firm The Weather Company, explained: "One might ask by voice interaction: what can I make for dinner tonight? Watson can sort through ingredient and flavour profiles to make recommendations based on the weather, time of day, location and even ingredients users have on hand."

Campbell Soups, Unilever and GSK Healthcare will be the first brands to make use of the format on The Weather Company's digital media properties.

For more on engaging on emerging media channels, see Five New Channels for Social Media Marketing, as well as our report from D&AD Festival 2016. See also Hyper-Responsive Marketing and New Digital Channels from our coverage of South by Southwest Interactive 2016.