Tips & Tricks

Q & A: The Power of Audio for Programmatic Campaigns

May 30, 2024

How much do you know about programmatic audio? We have answers from one of our in-house programmatic experts, Tori Zoellner, Director of Programmatic Sales.

Following the release of our Programmatic Audio Playbook, we sat down with Tori to get the inside scoop on the subject. Let’s get into it.

Programmatic Audio Allows Brands to Reach Consumers Everywhere

Question: What success has SiriusXM Media seen across programmatic campaigns?​ 

Programmatic Audio Allows Brands to Reach Consumers Everywhere
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Answer: Audio is with consumers all day, and we tend to listen to audio at times when we’re not also engaging with other media. We’re getting ready, working out, cooking dinner, driving, and we’re not watching other screens. That creates a listener receptivity that is unmatched by other media types. When you add programmatic tools like creative management, targeting consistency across publishers, unified measurement and campaign management, you have an incredibly powerful, premium advertising experience. Our clients are seeing tremendous value in activating our audio inventory through programmatic channels.

Programmatic Buyers Get First Access to Inventory 

Question: How does SiriusXM Media differ from competitors?

Programmatic Buyers Get First Access to Inventory
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Answer: We don’t treat programmatic as a remnant solution; we are truly a programmatic-first publisher. There aren’t different rates for direct versus programmatic, and we don’t offer certain services for direct IO clients only. 

We also have our programmatic auction at the top of our ad stack, giving programmatic campaigns first access to audiences and inventory before we fulfill our direct IO campaigns.

Most of Our Audio Inventory is Available Programmatically

Question: How do capabilities and/or targeting differ from a direct buy?

Most of Our Audio Inventory is Available Programmatically
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Answer: We’ve worked hard to ensure that our programmatic offering has parity to our direct offering. There are some sponsorships that are only available through direct IO, but almost all of our inventory is available programmatically. We’ve also been thoughtful to make sure that any targeting, measurement study, creative production or added-value deal enhancement can be activated with programmatic campaigns.

Programmatic Audio Includes Display and Video Formats

Question: What ad formats can advertisers currently buy programmatically? 

Programmatic Audio Includes Display and Video Formats
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Answer: On SiriusXM, advertisers can buy our display, video, and audio inventory programmatically. Display and video are only served upon certain user engagements, which keeps viewability and engagement rates high. In streaming music we only serve two ads per pod, ensuring that your ad is served in an uncluttered environment. And on podcasts, we’re seeing more and more advertisers benefit from the stickiness of quality content through scalable, programmatic podcast buying. 

Programmatic Audio is a Privacy-Forward Solution

Question: What is the future of programmatic, and what role do you see audio playing?

Programmatic Audio is a Privacy-Forward Solution
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Answer: Programmatic is going to have to contend with fewer deterministic user identifiers as privacy restrictions increase. Most audio publishers have a logged-in user base, which insulates audio from some of these industry challenges. 

Marketers are going to have to tackle the identity challenge in two ways: first by partnering with publishers like SiriusXM who are exploring alternate identity solutions like UID2.0 and ConnectID. Second, by leveraging programmatic tools like identity graphs. These probabilistic identifiers have gotten their training in CTV where data points like MAIDS and cookies don’t exist, so partnering with DSPs who can port those CTV learnings to other formats like audio is going to be important.

Buying Podcasts Programmatically is Scalable

Question: How is the programmatic audio industry changing?

Buying Podcasts Programmatically is Scalable
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Answer: Podcasts are exploding. Until recently, brands have had to settle for host reads to deliver their message to audiences, one podcast at a time. But with programmatic, we’re able to offer a scalable marketing solution to reach your key audiences, regardless of which podcast they’re enjoying right now. We’re going to see a lot more tools built out to address the audiences and content in the podcast space, specifically. 

Podcasts are Brand Safe

Question: What does brand suitability/safety look like for podcasts? How can programmatic audio be measured?

Podcasts are Brand Safe
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Answer: First of all, we’ve curated our podcast offering with advertisers in mind. We’ve removed content that doesn’t meet GARM industry baselines for brand safety. So every podcast in the SiriusXM Podcast Network is brand safe. 

However, we know that plenty of brand partners are going to want to check our work. That’s why we’ve done a ton of work with a third-party company called Barometer, who individually assesses the transcripts of every episode that a campaign runs media in to determine if the content aligned with the specific brand suitability needs. 

As you can see, the opportunities for brands with programmatic streaming audio and podcast buys is huge. Ready to get in on it? Hit us up.

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