• Ron Jaworski

AI-voiced native audio ads - the next frontier in audio advertising

Updated: Feb 10

In 2021, digital audio advertising continued gaining momentum, registering an impressive growth of 16% over 2020. In dollars, that would roughly be $5.59 billion being spent on digital audio services ads.


The ever-present screen fatigue and visual oversaturation mean the ability to connect with an audience in an authentic, immersive, and contextually relevant way is more valuable by the day.


With audio, publishers and advertisers can leverage a wide range of formats suitable for every use case. In turn, this allows for a more personalized connection and greater user experience at almost every consumer touchpoint.


The breadth of possibilities opened by constant connectivity means there are more and more opportunities to reach out to audiences whenever and wherever they are.


These are all the reasons why I believe native audio ads entirely driven by artificial voices are the next big thing in audio advertising.


For advertisers, there are three major advantages that native audio AI ads have:

  1. Being native and seamless

  2. The ability to scale

  3. Significantly reduced cost production

Here’s what I mean by that.

Native is in the ear of the listener

Native ads perform better.


It’s not news that audio ads in podcasts are knocking the audio ball out of the auditorium.


Native AI ads are taking that to the future.


How do I know?


Because recently we’ve launched the first-ever audio AI ad campaign, together with our partners at McClatchy, and have registered incredible results.


The campaign featured both pre-roll and mid-roll spots alongside automatically generated audio content of a story, and:

  • mid-roll ads had a completion rate of 75%;

  • pre-roll ads had an over 99% completion rate!

When is the last time you saw or heard that happen in advertising?


While there are various factors that contribute to why people listen through, the biggest one is the seamless transition between the ad and content.


Take a listen for yourself: here’s an example of one such ad.


Because both the ad and content are generated and voiced by AI, the audio quality is the same throughout the entire length of playback. In turn, this creates a similar feeling to podcasting where the host is reading the advertising sponsorship of their podcast.


Audio embodies the feel of the media that contains it, as opposed to the visual counterpart that replicates the look of it. In the true native sense, it’s integrated into the listener’s audio experience.


More than one-third or 34% of over-the-air listeners say they have taken action after hearing a host recommendation as part of a commercial and 32% after hearing a host recommendation as part of their show.


Sure, it’s not quite the same thing, but it’s indicative enough of the positive sentiment toward audio ads. Hearing an ad read in the same voice as the content leaves a mark on the listener. Plus, we should never underestimate audio’s overall ability to hook audiences and hold their full attention, especially since it doesn’t compete with other ad units, unlike its visual peers.


Audio content is mostly linear and not overwhelming, which makes it less skippable. This is very convenient from the advertising side as people listen throughout the day and night, outside and inside. Thanks to developing AdTech, all these variations allow advertisers to personalize the audio creative for each listener and deliver the right message to the right listener at the right time.


So, leveraging the same AI voice for ads and content provides a flawless integration for brands of all shapes and sizes, which enables ads to be presented in a non-invasive and highly receptive manner.


In addition, it’s worth mentioning one understated aspect of audio advertising: the ability to effortlessly optimize for a variety of scenarios. As a medium, audio is a one-size-fits-all advertising channel with no issues whatsoever about how it will translate to different devices and platforms, native or not.

Successfully addressing the scalability and cost elephant in the room

There’s no denying AI-voice audio ads add a new dimension of engagement for audiences while enabling advertisers a new option to integrate the messages they want to convey.


For this new dimension to really occupy the advertising world, and be sold as part of a website's real estate, it needs to be easily and readily implemented. As you may already know, this is not always the case but it’s also where tech’s scalability comes into play.


The fact is that audio is an inexpensive space, particularly for brand awareness purposes. With audio AI tech, it’s even more affordable and faster. There are no additional costs to production, and every published content can easily be audiofied, and then have ads natively integrated.


On the whole, digital audio advertising has a remarkable ability to quickly change a brand’s messaging so it matches the current climate and is not tone-deaf. The fast turnaround to a creative that fully relates to the listener at any moment is something video, the reigning medium of today, can’t offer, nor can most other digital media formats.


Audio content is far easier and more efficient to change.


Now add to that the option to, if need be, change an entire sentence or just a few words within AI-generated content. It’s as easy as deleting or rewriting certain parts, and letting the audio AI do its thing. The end result is a quicker way to specifically tailored content for specific audience segments. And a great offering to your advertisers as such.

A new level of immersive audio experiences

Audio is an ever-evolving space. Virtually every month, there is a new development in programmatic buying, tracking, and measurement. This will lead to even higher effectiveness of audio ads while driving ad spend, directly benefiting publishers.


With these constant improvements and innovations, this is an opportune time for publishers to engage brands that are looking to add audio to their media strategy, and monetize audiences from a new angle.


Thanks to AI’s scalability and newfound native element, it’s never been easier to tailor messaging and deliver it in a way audiences will embrace and enjoy. Every publisher interested in extending their content monetization strategies gets to do so in the most natural and familiar way.


That is why I see an amazing potential in AI-voice audio ads to reach new audiences and increase ROI for all parties involved, especially on the content creation side. It’s the perfect storm of digital audio advertising - one that will be very easy to weather. Let's connect via LinkedIn!


Image credits:

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