The Power of Programmatic Audio Advertising

The rise of digital audio — both as an entertainment medium and as an ad opportunity — is a growing trend that is hard to ignore.

As consumer habits are changing globally, people are increasingly streaming music and podcasts to their phones and other connected devices. This surge creates unique opportunities for programmatic audio ads.


Programmatic audio is the use of technology (software) to automate the process of buying and inserting ads in digital audio content such as music streaming services, digital radio and podcasts, as opposed to the traditional process of human negotiation. Using this powerful advertising medium, you can refine your targeting, improve engagement and gather advanced reporting insights.

Programmatic audio advertising offers sophisticated targeting options. Advertisers can target via advanced data points, or via non-personally identifiable logged-in data, which includes age, gender, listening habits and the device, for example a smart speaker, desktop or a mobile phone.


Compared to other digital marketing channels such as Facebook advertising and search engine marketing, programmatic audio marketing such as Spotify programmatic ads is still relatively new. While the full potential of programmatic audio ads is yet to be unlocked, the many advantages of advertising programmatically in music streaming services, digital radio and podcasts are already evident.

Here are some of the key advantages of programmatic audio advertising:

  • Higher engagement
  • Reach a large audience
  • Efficient and reliable
  • Deliver more personalised ads
  • Digital audio listeners are a valuable audience
  • Form long-lasting relationships with a younger audience
  • Lesser reliance on third-party cookies

Higher engagement – unlike television, YouTube and display ads, programmatic audio does not rely on visual engagement and advertisers don’t have to compete for the user’s attention. To add to this, the majority of people listening to digital audio do so via headphones, which means that listeners aren’t able to listen to anything else while an audio ad rolls. This type of media consumption helps form a strong brand-listener bond. A report by Edison Research showed that 70% of monthly podcast listeners don’t do anything else while listening to a podcast. Digital audio commands the listener’s full attention, making this ad platform highly engaging. Because of these factors, digital audio reaches consumers in a much more immersive way.

An added benefit is that the vast majority of audio ads cannot be skipped and there is no ad-block tool for audio advertising. This means your digital audio marketing, such as Spotify programmatic ads, will have a higher exposure, maximising your return on ad spend.

Reach a large audience – the number of users on music streaming services such as Spotify is growing rapidly. Statista research shows that as of the first quarter of 2021, Spotify boasted a whopping 158 million premium subscribers worldwide, up from 130 million in the corresponding quarter of 2020. Spotify’s subscriber base has increased dramatically in the last couple of years and has more than doubled since early 2017. In Australia, 9.8 million users are listening every month, 5.6 million of whom are ad addressable.

These numbers are bound to continue growing at a rapid pace, since Spotify is investing heavily in new podcasts with the aim of becoming the world’s number one audio platform.

Efficient and reliable – using machines is a really efficient way of buying digital advertising space. In the real world, both buyers and salespeople can be expensive and unreliable. With the use of smart technology, the whole process is smoother and more cost effective.

Dynamic Audio Creative on Spotify, for example, allows advertisers to customise audio creative in real-time, serving thousands of different automated marketing messages to different segments in their audiences. With the use of smart AdTech, creative can be tailored based on weather, location, time of day, day of the week with multiple product messages – an automated process that is much more efficient and cost effective than the traditional way of marketing.

Deliver more personalised ads – with automated audio ads, marketers and advertisers can deliver more customised messages to audiences. Spotify collects over 500 billion data points every day – that’s bigger than Google Earth, Street and Maps combined. Being able to target based on real-time data, like time of day, weather and traffic patterns, music-based psychographic groups, age, gender, purchase behaviour and other consumer trends, advertisers can engage audiences with much more relevant and personalised ads.

Digital audio listeners are a valuable audience – The demographics of digital audio audiences contribute to their value as a target market. Edison Research found that digital audio audiences in the U.S., particularly podcast listeners, are affluent. Podcast listeners typically have university level education, are employed and earn a yearly household income above 100,000 USD.

Similar trends are seen in the Australian market where 44% of Spotify Free users have a university or post graduate degree and are 20% more likely to earn between 175,000 AUD and 200,000 AUD each year. This financially stabile market makes a highly valuable audience to target as they are well positioned for general prospecting.

Form long-lasting relationships with a younger audience – age is another important demographic characteristic of digital audio listeners. Digital audio is typically more popular among digitally savvy Millennials and Gen Z. By targeting these age groups with programmatic audio, you can reach a younger audience that is entering, or is already in, their prime spending years. Moreover, by connecting with a younger demographic, you can form long-lasting brand-consumer relationships that, with nurturing, will result in a higher consumer lifetime value over time.

Lesser reliance on third-party cookies – because people are increasingly consuming digital audio media across devices and apps, which requires users to log in, programmatic audio advertising don’t rely on third-party cookies. This is a significant advantage since privacy is becoming increasingly important with regards to the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and Google’s decision to phase out third-party cookies in Chrome.

With a 100% logged-in audience, music streaming services like Spotify can help brands find and reconnect with their known customers using Custom Audience Matching.


At Signifi Media, we purchase programmatic audio ads through our two delivery service partners (DSP’s), DV360 and Xandr. These premium audio exchanges enable us to purchase ad space in the pre-roll, mid-roll or post-roll of a podcast, as well as audio ads in music streming services, targeting various devices, including desktop, mobile and tablet. Having access to several publishers, including Spotify, SoundCloud, Pandora and more, we give our clients the ability to reach precise audiences across top digital audio streaming services.

Precise targeting is made possible by billions of daily data points. This, together with our DSP’s advanced machine-learning optimisation, results in a powerful voice that allows your marketing message to be heard at the right moment, by the right audience to make a meaningful connection, at the best possible cost.

By adding programmatic audio advertising into your marketing mix, you’ll be tapping into current key trends and reaching out to your target audience more effectively than ever before. Contact us now to find out what we can achieve with programmatic audio advertising for your marketing budget.


As consumer behaviour is shifting to screenless media, spurring the growth of digital audio and advertising, it’s important for brands and businesses to evolve their digital marketing strategies. Programmatic audio advertising is a cost-efficient way of reaching relevant audiences with impactful marketing messages. The great thing about programmatic audio advertising is that it is scalable. This means that we can tailor a campaign according to your marketing budget.

Looking for a programmatic ad agency that can maximise return on ad spend for your budget? Speak to one of our digital marketing consultants about a tailored costing.

Final thoughts

Consumers are looking for better, more personalised experiences, and advertising teams need to keep up with this demand. There’s no denying the advantages of programmatic audio advertising. The number one advantage of programmatic ad buying is its extensive targeting and ability to eliminate waste.

If you are looking for a savvy programmatic ad agency that can use every possible means to reach your target demographic at the best rates, get in touch. Now is the best time to take advantage of the power of programmatic audio ads.