LONDON — So far, the discussion of so-called “programmatic”, automated digital advertising trading has centered on online display and video advertising. But what about advertising in content that no-one can see?

Last month, GroupM’s Xaxis programmatic unit announced Xaxis Audio, a program to let advertisers buy at-scale ads in digital audio platforms, including both big mainstream UK radio stations and digital music streaming services.

“Digital audio is a very interesting medium from a branding perspective, because it’s starting to get really massive scale, as services like Spotify or Pandora or others continue to grow,” Xaxis UK MD Nicolas Bidon tells Beet.TV in this video interview.

“It’s a very interesting way to grab people’s attention. With audio, you don’t compete on the page with content or with several ad units. You have 100% of the user’s attention.”

Xaxis Audio works by running Xaxis’ Turbine demand-side platform in to DAX, a UK federation of suppliers of connected audio services.

Despite all this technology, Bidon says the upcoming Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity will show the importance of creativity in advertising: “You can have the best targeting in the world. If the creative execution is poor, your brand is not going to cut through the noise. Trying to bridge the gap between creative agencies and the maths men is the next challenge.”


We interviewed Bidon in London as part of the series the Road to Cannes, our lead-up to the Cannes Lions Festival presented by Coull.   Please visit this page for additional segments.