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Programmatic: The Future of Audio and Video

Programmatic: The Future of Audio and Video

April 4, 2021 | By Novi Suleski

Whenever we spend time online, we are posed with myriad different kinds of advertising – display ads, video ads, audio ads, you name it. What you may not know is that in 2019, 84.9% of all digital advertising in the U.S. was bought programmatically – and that number is expected to continue growing with much of the spend moving into video and audio advertising.

Viewership of Over-the-Top (OTT) – any online video on any device – and Connected TV (CTV) – video specifically on Connected TV devices like Smart TVs, streaming players, and gaming consoles – content skyrocketed in 2020 and it’s expected to remain high. GlobalData predicts that streaming subscriptions will surpass paid TV subscriptions by the end of 2021 and Roku predicts that 60 million U.S. households will watch TV exclusively through streaming services by 2025.

In addition, audio streaming services like iHeartRadio and Spotify have made their way into our daily routines with 70% of the US population listening to digital audio at least one a month. The average user spends 2+ hours per day listening to digital audio and 79% of that is consumed while they are unreachable by visual media.

All this is to say that programmatic advertising is kind of a big deal.

So what is it, exactly? Programmatic advertising is also known as “real-time bidding” advertising. Every time an ad-supported webpage, video, or streaming channel load, an auction occurs for the ad slots (inventory) available. Thousands to millions of ads are bid on and whichever ad had the highest bid wins the slot. This entire process happens within milliseconds.

The power behind all this advertising lies with the audience targeting. We are in a state of flux at the moment as there are some big changes on the horizon with Google restricting the cookie on its Chrome browser at the end of this year, but there are a few tried and true methods we can always recommend:

  • Category Contextual: Target users based on the category of the website they are visiting. For example, you want to advertise your new baby strollers for sale – you can target sites in the “parenting” category.
  • Location: Target users based on their geographic location. Perhaps you plan to open a new restaurant – you can target anyone within a given parameter around its location to start promoting the grand opening.
  • 1st party data: Start building your own list of users! You can target users programmatically via physical address or use data such as emails for other marketing/advertising such as drip campaigns or even Google ads.
  • Private Marketplaces (PMPs): Deals directly with publishers allowing you to target to their audience. While available for almost all ad formats, this kind of targeting is particularly powerful for audio and OTT/CTV – some publishers include Spotify, iHeart Media, Hulu, SlingTV, Roku, and more.

Programmatic audio and video advertising are a bigger investment than programmatic display, but they are an investment worthwhile. Your audiences are consuming these media at an all-time high so take advantage of the opportunity to reach them where they are, when they are.

Let us help! The Seattle Times Media Solutions offers fully managed programmatic audio and video campaigns and can assist in the creation of the advertising material. Contact us today to learn more about the best options for your budget and your business.

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