Programmatic Ad Formats Mini-Series: Audio

Continuing with our Programmatic Ad Formats series we’ll be reviewing a new(er) kid on the block: programmatic audio.

This is an exciting addition to digital advertising that was only enabled quite recently in programmatic platforms like ours. Brand marketers have long understood the power of audio messaging to connect with audiences. Whether delivered in a music, news, sports or political talk environment, the use of audio ads is experiencing a renaissance as advertisers take advantage of digital offerings. Advertisers can now take advantage of technology to deliver ads to channels of communication (in addition to AM / FM radio), which provide listeners with greater choice, control and customization of their experience and therefore give advertisers greater ability to target and connect intelligently with audiences.  


It is always critical to consider the latest trends in digital in order to best understand how to allocate budgets and test budgets and truly reach audiences, and this certainly holds true for audio.

Here’s a couple critical and thought provoking points to help underscore the trajectory of digital audio:

Interactive Voice Devices

NPR and Edison Research have tracked consumer adoption of smart speakers with the Smart Audio Report since early 2017 and they share the following 2 important insights:

  1. Smart speaker adoption is outpacing smartphone adoption rates
  2. These devices are having a dramatic impact on consumers’ lives.

Podcast Revenues Soaring

U.S. podcast ad revenues reached landmark $314 Million in 2017, marking 86% growth year-over-year (more at IAB).

Streaming Music Services the #1 Preferred Audio Source Today

Streaming Music Services Are The Most Preferred Sources of Audio Today

Preferred Audio Source According to US Internet Users, by Age


Programmatic audio is the automated buying and selling audio advertisements. It is a means of making campaigns more efficient by streamlining the buying process and also makes them more cost effective.

Programmatic platforms use real-time data to identify the best audience(s) for the campaign and buys audio ad inventory through an auction based on everything available across multiple devices, in places the audience cares about. The Acuity Platform’s exclusive partner for digital audio is Triton Digital. We encourage you to take a look at their Top 20 Ranker report, which provides you with a listing of the top performing digital audio publishers and networks measured by the MRC Accredited Webcast Metrics(R) platform. This includes U.S. and International listening, as well as insights into listening trends. Interesting insights from their most recent report as follows:

  1. News / Talk and Top 40 (CHR) dominate on smart speakers with 34% of all audio streamed on smart speakers coming from these channels
  2. Weekday listening shows its highest peak at 2PM
  3. Pandora Corporate and Spotify Corporate dominate digital audio streaming with the greatest number of active sessions per day


As marketers we are constantly looking for the best ways to reach our audiences, audio shows promise in improving audience targeting as well as optimizing campaigns and making more efficient purchasing decisions. Check out the following chart from eMarketer, which showcases some more benefits and reasons for purchasing radio/digital audio ads programmatically.      

Reasons that US Radio Ad Buyers Are Interested in Purchasing Radio/Digital Audio Ads Programmatically


As the number of digital audio listeners continues to increase it will become even more essential for ad buyers and sellers to shift to programmatic to make data-driven decisions that will optimize overall performance. To learn more about how your business could benefit from using programmatic audio get in touch with us.


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