BOSTON – The history of online audio is a tale of closed-platform listening. But what if the future was interconnectivity with a suite of advanced audio advertising tools?

That is what Nick MacShane believes could pan out.

In this video interview with Beet.TV, the founder of media- and tech-focused M&A advisory Progress Partners says the new audio landscape is opening up to advertising.

Market overview

It is a landscape buoyed by several advances:

  • More granular listening measurement.
  • Smart speaker penetration.
  • A richer-than-ever podcast library.
  • Profiling listeners’ identities.
  • Interactive voice advertising.
  • Response to listener emotions.

No wonder MacShane sees an opportunity:

  • “This music and audio streaming market is about $21 billion in 2019, and is continuing to grow at about 18% CAGR, from now until 2027.”
  • “Paid streaming services are added at about a million subscriptions per month. And, overall, we’re seeing the number of paid subscribers of streaming services in the US at around 60 million.”
  • “You’re starting to see podcast listeners averaging seven shows per week, so they’re very loyal to their podcast hosts. And they’re listening at about 80% to all or most of each episode.”

Interactive audio ads

And there is further investment activity bubbling up. “We are looking at some companies right now,” MacShane says. “We actually talk, probably, to two to four voice companies a week and are also certainly talking to all the different suppliers and other participants in that ecosystem on a regular basis.

“We are looking at making an investment shortly in a company called Instreamatic.”

Instreamatic enables listener microphone response to streamed audio ads, making for an interactive experience, like conversing with a smart speaker.

“Based on that response, the unit itself can then trigger the sending of a message, a text message, connect you with a phone centre, a call phone centre or send you directions directly to your device,” MacShane says.

Opening up audio tech

That’s the theory. Instreamatic’s technology is available to any sound-enabled app including music, radio, podcasting, gaming, messaging and more.

To fully realize the opportunity, however, will require audio service app makers to plug in such capability.

“I think that what will drive the openness of these platforms will be the financial backers, the advertisers,” MacShane adds. “That’s generally been the driver to allow the platforms to be more open and porous in terms of the data they’re sharing back out with their constituent partners. Once certain platforms start to share that information, the others will quickly follow.”

Spotify made €185 million from advertising in Q3 2020 alone.

MacShane is also putting such technology on the radar of even bigger tech companies.

“You have various platforms right now who are vying for attention,” he says. “Apple has Siri and Amazon has Alexa and Google has the Google assistant and Samsung has Bixby. Each of these companies is going to need to try to attract content and consumers, and then monetize that in some form.

“And the advertising market, as much as people may dislike advertising and the interruption of advertising, that is a significant financial driver for these kinds of businesses.”

You are watching “Advertisers: Turn Up the Volume on Streaming Audio,” a Beet.TV leadership video series presented by Tru Optik. For more videos, please visit this page