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Brief Published: 17 Oct 2014

Audio Ads Let Listeners Talk Back


US audio service provider XAPPmedia has developed audio ads that allow listeners to interact by performing an "audio click".

Making use of mobile devices' built-in microphones, the audio ads run as usual, but then give listeners the chance to further engage by using voice commands that can download an app, send an email with further information, or even call the advertiser.

The idea makes good use of recent findings that indicate users are increasingly choosing mobile over desktop to listen to podcasts or music streams. The move to mobile reduces the impact of banner ads and interstitial videos as an ad format around digital audio content. Audio clicks provide a low engagement threshold for listeners who might have their hands on the wheel and their eyes on the road, or a smartphone buried in their pocket.

As listeners move to mobile, audio content consumption itself is growing. The most recent data on this was presented in a report from the UK Radio Advertising Bureau this month. It found that streamed or downloaded music, talk radio, audio dramas and other fictional and factual audio is building audiences on top of traditional radio consumption.

US National Public Radio – home to podcast This American Life, which is downloaded around a million times each week – is already using XAPPmedia's ads in its NPR One app. For more on how brands can interact with consumers in the digital audio landscape, see our report Digital Music in Flux.