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Audio bosses on programmatic, zero screening and making voice work on social

In this session from the Radio Alive 2017 conference, audio industry experts argue the case for and against programmatic and discuss the challenges of making audio work for a video-hungry social audience.

When it comes to the monetisation of audio, Matthew Gain, head of APAC, Audible says a lot can be learned from the publishing industry’s mistakes.

“With the rise of programmatic advertising in the podcast space, there’s a lot of excitement around ‘oh wow, this is a way that we can monetise content’. I think for those that watch the news and print industry will probably recognise that programmatic was potentially not the best way to monetise content,” he says.

“We’ve gone a completely different route and have always been no advertising, purely subscription based. That is our model, and the onus on us then is because we’re asking people to pay for the content, it’s got to be better.”

For Geraint Davies chief operating officer, IHeartRadio Australia and Asia, however, the possibility of personalisation makes programmatic a realistic option.

He describes iHeartRadio’s recent work with AdsWizz, which allows the broadcast ad to be replaced with a targeted ad when the user is listening online or through the app.

“Unique advertising to the listener, that should mean that they should stay longer, don’t change channels as often.”

Mike Fitzpatrick, head of content, Triple M Network explains that clients don’t necessarily care about the latest in high tech ads. Instead, “clients want engagement”.

“What the client will ask for is the talent in the podcast talking about their product.”

Gain sees “any opportunity where people’s eyes are busy but their mind is free” as time for audio books, including whilst cooking, driving or doing housework.”

Gain: ‘Programmatic was potentially not the best way to monetise content’

Davies agrees: “Video just was very easy to go to that second screen. Audio is that wonderful product where you can do other things while you’re listening. You just can’t do that with video.”

The panel also discusses the challenges of implementing audio into social – a traditionally video-led space.

Mike Fitzpatrick, the head of content at the Triple M Network, points out that turning audio into short video clips doesn’t have to be a lot of work.

“People don’t click on audio in a Facebook feed, but they click on a video. You don’t even need to shoot something – you could create a video out of stills to cover a piece of audio. If it’s interesting enough, people will click.”

For Gain, however, the Facebook feed is “like junk food. It feels good as its going in, but the moment that you stop you’re like ‘where did that 20 minutes go?’

“At what point does that start to fry our brain?”

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