The Evolution of Audio and Personalized Content
A few years ago, many industry thought leaders would have said that radio would be a dying medium today. Terrestrial radio listenership was down, podcasts were clunky and streaming apps like Pandora, Spotify and SoundCloud were overlooked, if they were even in operation. To put it into perspective, the Podcast app didn’t come pre-installed to your iPhone until the end of 2015.
Now, podcasts are one of the hottest trends. Podcasters are getting their own TV shows and seasoned radio hosts are hopping on the bandwagon as more mediums go digital. Even services like Spotify and Pandora, that were created around the idea of music exploration, are evolving with this trend and improving the way listeners find music and discover podcasts or audiobooks, and are constantly improving their technology to personalize your listening experience.
As media continues to become more personalized and marketers like us have access to the technology with the ability to tailor content to our target audiences. Spotify kind of surprised themselves with how successful their “Weekly Discover” playlist has become. “Weekly Discover” is a 30-song playlist tailored to listeners based on their previous listening habits and other playlists that they follow. Just in the past year they’ve experienced about 5 billion streams from their “Weekly Discover” playlists, and to no surprise, expect this to rise to about 6 or 7 billion by the end of the year. They’re even starting to sell audio ad space programmatically on The Trade Desk, AppNexus, and The Rubicon Project that can be tailored to listener habits, and demographic information. What once seemed to be a fairly restricted and diminishing medium, is now just beginning to boom.
Much like other mediums, when they began to take off (think YouTube post-Google Acquisiton), other competitors have to adapt to the “new way” to keep up. Remember when you all of a sudden started seeing videos pop up at the top of your Facebook & Instagram feeds? That wasn’t just by chance – Facebook saw a threat from their competition taking part of their market share and made adjustments.
Based on what we see with other types of markets with rapid adoption, such as YouTube and online video content, it’s just a matter of time before advertising starts to permeate your eardrums. Anyone wanna make bets on when Pandora, SoundCloud or iHeart will cave and follow suit to sell ad space programmatically?
Oh and by the way here is what we are listening too…