Audio streaming advertisements are a step up to jingles that millennials have grown listening for these come with data-centric targetting.
If you were to take a Western Line train in Mumbai, you are bound to hear brand jingles. One of them informs commuters about getting off at Goregaon or Ram Mandir stations to walk to a specific property the advertisement is promoting. Gone are the days when Badshah Masala would play on loop — brands are understanding the power and relevance of the suburban railway. It took a while to innovate, just like the case of audio streaming advertisements in India.
Brands are now realising the importance of audio and experimenting with formats to give users the best brand-integrated experience. A playlist that accompanies a jogger on an early morning is bound to interest a shoe brand. Recently, Adidas created a personality quiz with Spotify, nudging consumers to find out which sneaker suited them best. Such innovations are possible given the extensive data that can be collected based on the song preference and other demographic details collected by the app.
These are the most basic advertisement format options available to brands and marketers to tap on. They pop on the screen in between song streaming and essentially breaking the flow of songs. Most apps at the moment, including Spotify and JioSaavn, are using these to push subscriptions. When used by brands, these can be an excellent mix of an engaging audio advertisement, coupled with a static visual that has information.
Video takeover advertisements are when a video plays in between songs, taking over the experience completely for a while. It is indeed a tricky format because users are looking for an audio-only experience. However, they often come with a clickable element where brands can redirect users to a webpage, leveraging their undivided attention at that point. This also gives the brand a more immersive option to engage with consumers.
Playlist by the mood
Audio streaming applications come with a special advertising opportunity for brands where they can sponsor a mood-based playlist. An example of this would be the curated list that Bira has recently pushed out in collaboration with Saavn (now JioSaavn). It was a hip collection of songs that could be heard at a party as well be connected to a music gig/festival the brand was sponsoring. Getting artists on board for it was another plus.
Recently, Spotify has come up with an option for brands to sponsor a 30-minute ad-free experience for brands to leverage. Pizza Hut is among the first brands to try it out with the new advertisement featuring Bhuvan Bam. If a user chooses to watch the ad, they get access to music for 30 minutes without any ad interrupting the flow of music. This is a strategy right out of the radio stations that play back-back-back three songs, stating that this session has been sponsored by a brand.
The most interesting space for brands to leverage at the moment are podcasts. This stems from the insight of how these give brands a better chance at exploring ways to tell their story, their way. Also, it is an original piece of content in quite a few cases. Currently, the craze for cricket in India is being tapped on rigorously as a build-up for the World Cups in Australia next year. This, along with the history of this sport in the country has created a fertile field for a podcast on cricket to flourish — something that Spotify Originals is trying for, in partnership with Oaktree Sports.
It would indeed be really interesting to see what brands do with marketing opportunities that audio streaming advertisements bring along. Watch out!