How Acast is meeting demand for programmatic audio in Asia | Digital


According to MiQ, interest in audio campaigns is significantly higher in Asia-Pacific than in North America. Weekly podcast listening has increased by 17% since 2021 due to the pandemic. For example, Spotify saw a 30% increase in ad-supported monthly active users in 2021 compared to 2020.

Swedish podcast platform Acast tapped Jamie Squires to help meet demand for programmatic audio in emerging markets. As Acast’s Head of Automation International, Squires will represent the company in Spain, Italy, the Netherlands, Singapore, Hong Kong and, more broadly, the Middle East and Africa. . Previously, he worked for publishers such as Haymarket and AutoTrader, suppliers such as Nectar 360 and agencies such as OMD EMEA, among others.

In an exclusive interview with Asia-Pacific Campaign, Squires says programming is Acast’s fastest growing sales channel. The platform therefore needs to educate media buyers and creators on the benefits this technology can bring them.

He explains that Acast invests a lot of time in sharing its knowledge and experience and in building relationships with advertisers who are more open to automated execution of the podcast offering.

Acast also wants to work with advertisers who will help the platform make programmatic technology work better with the podcast channel.

For example, Acast started testing programmatic in the Australian market, a highly developed region with wide adoption of programmatic but not so large that it is cumbersome or difficult to manage. Through its learnings and successes there, the platform has been able to transfer its learnings to multiple markets in Europe, North and South America, and now Asia.

“We’re seeing that by leveraging these relationships, advertisers are coming back to us more consistently and with more ambitious briefs, which shows us that they see the value that automated solutions can bring,” says Squires.

“Perhaps our toughest challenge is always convincing podcasters that programming can be a lucrative tool to incorporate into their shows, but, more importantly, we do it by delivering results.

Audio ads on Acast do not have associated clickable banners, as the platform believes in providing a pure audio experience. Instead, the audio ad creative captures attention and provides instructions for interaction.

For example, it uses a unique code or tricks the listener into visiting a website.

Instead of clicks, Squires says Acast measures the impact of ads using multiple metrics, including listenership, code adoption, brand boost and attribution by working. with third-party providers.

He adds that transparency is also very important to Acast. Squires says the platform provides a transparent and safe list of all its podcasts, divided by targeting segments. Upon request, Acast also provides daily reports detailing the show’s ad impressions, which is crucial for its advertiser and agency clients to build trust.

However, he notes that the general approach to targeting is for buyers to choose from a contextual collection of podcast shows such as lifestyle and sports, or podcast shows grouped by demographics.

“We can offer more custom show listings drawn from these collections for specific memoirs, and in select markets such as the US, Canada and Australia, we can offer a selection of trusted audience segments third. This list of custom shows is what we are working on to expand to all other markets,” says Squire.

“Our conversational targeting allows for a more precise solution while maintaining high levels of scale. Conversational targeting is an AI-powered, contextual solution that uses podcast show transcription and natural language processing to deliver ad opportunities on an episodic level. »

He adds, “We align this to IAB categories (levels one, two, or even as specific as three) or specific keywords. This enhanced solution is ideal for podcasting as it provides the ability to reach listeners with a commercial at a very relevant point in the conversation they listen to eagerly.”

After launching in Singapore and Spain, Acast acquired Podchaser and signed podcasts, including WTF with Marc Maron.


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