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News | Where will AI make the biggest impact in audio advertising?

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Where will AI make the biggest impact in audio advertising?

795 Views / News Story by Advert On Click / 4 April 2024
Source: the media leader
Where will AI make the biggest impact in audio advertising?

AI is the buzzword in any industry at the moment, but how does it apply to audio? And, even more specifically, audio advertising?

Much has been made of generative AI’s future impact on production, but it could potentially make an immediate impact on planning, targeting and measurement.

Ahead of  The Future of Audio and Entertainment conference this month, The Media Leader asked audio experts on which area they think AI will make its mark most.

Rak Patel, head of EMEA ad sales, Spotify

“It’s very early days in an incredibly fast-moving and developing space. If done correctly, AI will enable many more people around the world a chance to further their creativity. Since 2011, our investment in AI, and in particular machine learning, has made Spotify what it is today: a personalised experience for every user that drives discovery and connection through the power of recommendations. Just look at Discover Weekly.

“Most recently, we’ve added DJ to the mix: a personalised AI guide that knows you and your music taste so well that it can choose what to play for you. We actually had DJ join in on April Fool’s Day to tickle our users.

“Advertising certainly represents an interesting canvas for future exploration. Machine learning and AI can improve business outcomes while making brand-safety solutions more powerful and supporting creative development at scale.”

Charlie Brookes, chief revenue officer, Octave

“The primary benefits of AI in the audio advertising space will be in enabling more creativity.

“There are already AI audio creative tools that produce ads from web content that can then be voiced over a music bed — all in well under a minute. This is specifically helpful for SMEs looking to utilise audio’s reach, where creative production may have previously been a barrier.

“AI also increases creative access to synthetic voices and can produce ad personalisation at real scale, which dovetails into the increasing data targeting of audio ads.

“Finally, AI will open up further voice interaction opportunities, making audio advertising even more engaging for listeners.”

Tom Streetley, commercial Dax director for audio, Global

“One of the areas we’re concentrating our efforts on is how AI can help us deliver more advanced targeting for our advertising partners. This spans the growing share of listening on connected devices, especially smart speakers, and helps future-proof targeting with the demise of cookies.

“Our data science team created an AI tool called Dax Audiences, which expands Dax’s targetable reach by tenfold for key demographics and interest groups, and maximises engagement. Now in its second iteration, we’re taking our rich first-party data and using AI to generate valuable and highly demanded audience groups. Our objective is that, end to end, Dax’s audience targeting will have zero reliance on cookies or mobile ad IDs.”

Lizzy Pollott, chief communications and brand officer, Acast

“Even smarter targeting and so more effective podcast advertising campaigns.

“We’re already using AI thoughtfully at Acast and Podchaser to increase advertising’s relevance in podcasting and the opportunities are so vast. Of course, more relevant advertising is great for brands, listeners and podcasters alike.

“For example, our Predictive Demographics feature uses AI (as opposed to first-party data) to analyse the language spoken within a podcast to predict things like the age, gender and even educational and parental status of its likely audience. This then allows advertisers to make even more informed decisions on the best shows to use to reach their ideal target audience. Pretty neat, right?”

Charlie Cadbury, co-founder and CEO, Say It Now

“The intersection of production and measurement.

“As generative AI audio production becomes standard, the ability to deliver hyper-personalised advertising comes of age. In order to create a self-optimising system, you need a feedback loop to understand what messaging is landing with which audiences. This requires the ability to turn on a voice response and apply AI-based learning to deliver real-time optimisation based on an understanding of the creative make-up, placement and engagement rates.

“When these tools come together, it opens up new revenue streams from advertisers who previously believed audio was out of reach.”

Demi Abiola, investment business director, T&Pm (formerly MSix & Partners)

“AI has the potential to make a significant impact in audio advertising by providing a granular level of personalisation to make ads more engaging than ever. By using different data and behavioural actions, the creative can be tailored to be hyper-personal. Location, weather, music, device etc, to name but a few.

“There is a continuous challenge on brands to cut through the cacophony of noise across a differing range of platforms. By creating personalised, relevant ads, the message will not only reach but resonate with the target audiences, contributing to an increase in meaningful brand awareness and engagement.”

Jason Brownlee, founder, Colourtext

“Compared to TV and video, brands spend relatively little time, thought or expense on audio creativity as it is, so the efficiency gains from AI are going to be marginal.

“If you’ve tried making songs with AI, you’ll know that the first results are really exciting. But it doesn’t take long for AI creative to start sounding very ‘samey’ and this is the risk audio advertising will have to avoid.

“However, if clever audio creatives can find a way to bottle their knowledge with AI and scale it into a super-efficient, self-learning and self-serve ad production platform, the sky really is the limit.

“Making it easy for more people to make more high-quality audio ads would surely be a good thing for the industry.”

Mary Ann Halford, principal, Halford Media Advisory

“For me, podcast advertising has been where I have generated real ROI. I have actually bought products I heard about on podcasts — a lot of them!

“And why is that? The listening experience — it is very intimate.

“So given this, I believe AI is going to have an enormous impact on audio advertising and it is hard to confine to one area. One, AI can harness data, creating personalised audio ads and targeting delivering. Once served, AI can assess ad performance in real time and course-correct. Gruia Pitigoi-Aron of the Trade Desk recently said that AI will enable marketers to adapt and optimise messages at the ‘speed of culture’.

“Plus, think of the interactive possibilities: AI-powered voice recognition can enable interactive ads via voice prompts, creating new opportunities for listener engagement and commercial monetisation.

“This is just the beginning. I can list a dozen other opportunities. I think the impact will be enormous.”

Tom Webster, partner, Sounds Profitable

“AI could unlock one of the greatest opportunities in audio advertising: fully monetising the long tail of podcasting.

“We know that the smaller shows have excellent conversion and, with a greater ability to contextually target the right content at scale, there is an enormous opportunity for growth.

“Additionally, advertiser needs for brand safety and suitability can be efficiently addressed across entire networks, ensuring that brand messages land where they should and not where they shouldn’t.”

Matt Deegan, founder, Folder Media

“Agencies and advertisers aren’t clamouring for Sora or Midjourney to create the next John Lewis & Partners Christmas ad, but there are many opportunities for AI to do some of advertising’s donkey-work, particularly when ad creative needs to be personalised.

“Services like A Million Ads have netted big clients by using the targeting capabilities of services like Spotify and Dax to deliver personalised creative about locations or the weather, but they’ve required legwork to produce the variations. Deploying AI to tune great creative into great personalised creative is a no-brainer.”

Nick Angell, founder, Nick Angell Productions

“To be clear, I’m not using AI to help me write this piece! Also, it is only possible to assert an opinion based on what we know now, as it is such a fast-moving technology.

“I’m going to focus on the world of voiceovers and the potential impact AI may have on the many artists who make a good living from it. Although for straight narratives or tests it certainly does a job, from what I’ve heard so far, there shouldn’t be any cause for immediate alarm, as the depth of personality, nuance, timing, musicality and general engagement, in my opinion, isn’t there.

“I feel this is even more the case with animation. The day AI could create the sort of performance that Robin Williams gave as the Genie in Aladdin, for example, then pretty well any voice actor in this world may as well pack their bags and move on — as will I.”

Neil Cowling, founder, Fresh Air Production

“AI has already revolutionised the audio production process. Being able to transcribe with increasing accuracy, and edit the audio via that transcript, has sped up the process and democratised it to an extent that wasn’t possible before.

“Platforms like Spotify are already enabling users to create their own ads and that will almost certainly mean more AI-led ads.

“However, I’m a great believer that truly brilliant use of audio requires a talented audio-driven writer, bespoke creative concepts and imaginative, innovative use of sound. There are already many terrible cliché-riddled audio ads made by humans, so we don’t need even more made by machines.”

Richard Gill, founder and managing partner, Additive+, Havas

“AI will revolutionise audio advertising. There is a depth of opportunity within audio for brands to better connect with consumers by tapping into their shifting mindsets or responding to individual interests and needs.

“We can also do this throughout the course of a day, showing ‘high-protein’ messaging to somebody who is working out or ‘indulge’ messaging to somebody who is settling down to watch an evening movie.

“The challenge has always been creating and distributing the breadth of content required to capitalise on these opportunities in a cost-effective and efficient way. AI is solving that problem by generating unlimited high-quality ads at breakneck speed.

“As early adopters of this new capability, we are already seeing some very impressive examples and expect client demand to grow exponentially over the next 12 months.”