The Streaming Audio Buying Toolkit

Harness the Power of Streaming Audio: Pt 4

Photo by Marvin Meyer on Unsplash

Welcome to part 4 of the streaming audio buying guide. In this final installment, we’re going to dig into capabilities and best practices for making the most of your next streaming audio campaign.

Just joining us? Get caught up now:

Part 1 — the streaming audio landscape.
Part 2 — the audience.
Part 3 — the dictionary.

Eyes are becoming scarce these days. In 2017, 11% of Internet users were blocking ads on the web. This number is growing and expected to reach 30% in 2018. More than ever, digital audio is enabling brands to break through in a noisy (and in some cases, unviewable) ad environment.

From automated buying options to behavioral segmentation and granular reporting — streaming audio has evolved over the years to provide a finely-tuned toolkit for advertisers. With high accountability and customization, streaming gives your brand the power to build an effective campaign that reaches your audience and resonates with your audience.

We know you’re busy, so we’ve condensed the essential best practices here.

Ways to buy:

Direct IOs

  1. Inventory is available directly from publishers or can be accessed via content aggregators, digital audio networks, or ad rep firms.
  2. Direct transactions are the more traditional route, dealing in fixed prices and number of impressions.
  3. Based on buy, ads are dynamically-inserted to deliver one-to-one campaigns (personalized ads to individual listeners), across devices and platforms.


  1. This route allows for the automated buying and selling of digital audio inventory accessed through a number of trading desks and DSPs. Campaigns can be purchased either as guaranteed or within RTB marketplace.
  2. Programmatic benefits include increased campaign efficiency and ROI, ability to target and optimize effectively, and ability to scale.
  3. Examples for programmatic platforms include AudioMax, Jelli, DAX, and Triton a2x

Building your campaign:

  • Typically placements are available in standard lengths such as :15, :30, and :60, dynamically inserted as a pre-roll, in-stream, or post-roll. Can run independently or within a commercial stop-set with other units.
  • Opportunities do not end with post-roll ads. Select streaming audio platforms can create immersive experiences and bring your brand to life in even bigger ways.
  • Channels/Playlists are audio collections that are curated by an algorithm or individual, typically organized by genre. Pre-existing channels can be branded for an advertiser with audio and on-screen elements. Or an advertiser can have ownership of a custom playlist.
  • Advertisers can also call on the power of personality with host reads, endorsements, and social integration. Companies like idobi Radio has tapped influential talent from the film and music world to host their weekly live-streamed programs.
  • Tie-ins with live events — via exclusive online coverage or partnerships IRL — can generate big buzz for brands.

Customization + optimization:

  • Have it your way. Streaming audio gives you the ability to copy split, target by daypart, geo, device, format, and demo measured against traditional KPIs like GRPs and CPPs.
  • Target deeper with behavioral targeting based on 1st and 3rd party data from providers like Liveramp, Lotame exelate and more. For example, if you are buying inventory served by Adswizz, ask for SONAR to drill down your message even further and reach your core consumer.
  • Avoid diminishing returns with frequency capping, limiting the number of times your ad is served to an individual.


  1. Create an “audio first” environment. Invest in creating an audio brand identity that’s unmistakable. Use sound — music, ambient noise, or effects — to tell your story.
  2. You’ve customized your campaign, tailor your messaging too. Keep in mind where and when your target will be listening. Are they working out at the gym? Commuting to the office? Chilling at home? Factor in language that can account for multiple scenarios, thereby making your message resonate even more.
  3. Remember, the screen may be turned off or not exist at all. Mention your brand and call to action in the first half. Don’t rely on visuals to drive traffic.
  4. Make that call to action specific, enabling easy purchase decisions. Better yet, take advantage of this attentive audience with an enticing limited-time offer or contest promotion.

Measuring Success:

  • Similar to other digital media, ad tagging tracks and verifies delivered impressions.
  • Ad tag placement can vary but the standard is to fire the tag at the end of the audio unit, confirming that the listener remained connected for the duration of the ad.
  • Audio playback triggers the tracking pixels that are needed to report impressions by both the publisher and third-party ad servers in compliance with IAB measurement guidelines.
  • An impression qualifies when the ad has been played with the digital audio player in a non-muted state, at a non-zero volume, and filtered for invalid traffic.
  • To make measurement more comparable to other media, new guidelines developed through the Media Rating Council (MRC) along with a large group of organizations establish “Audible Ad Impressions”, the audio equivalent of a Viewable Ad Impression.
  • Third-party research can also be tapped to track engagement on a deeper level (from brand awareness lift to in-store traffic).

Want to learn more? Our team is here to walk you through the entire process so you can confidently venture into the world of digital audio. Get in touch today for more info or a demo on how we do it!

This is part four of a four-part series:

Part 1: Prevalent, Popular, and Powerful

Part 2: Say Hello to the Streamers

Part 3: The Tech Dictionary — Streaming Audio Terms to Know

Part 4: The Streaming Audio Buying Toolkit | Twitter | Instagram



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