Growing digital revenue #RDE22

“When you start interacting with smart speakers and you find out how convenient they are, you start thinking what else can it do and how can it make my life easier,” said Paul Cranwell from AdTonos in a RadioDays Europe session about growing digital revenue.

Where is voice interaction going next and how will it influence advertising on radio and other media?

Smart speakers will be an important part of interaction via audio, especially in the home. A UK survey showed that 20% of smart speakers are likely to buy via the smart speaker in the next month and that 60% of voice assistant users think it adds convenience to their lives.

Voice is integral to cross platform purchasing, according to Cranwell. It is also becoming more important in cars and games.

“Gaming is bringing interactive audio to life in its 3 billion people eco system.” Audiences for audio ads in games can hear similar ads as they do on their streaming services now in their gaming apps. “Advertisers are realising that if you serve a video ad in a game, it stops the game, but if you serve an audio ad and the audience can keep playing the game the ad is more a part of their experience.”

It’s not just nerdy young males playing games. The average gamer is 34 year old and female, they are playing games such as Sudoku on their phones on the way to or from work.

There are now 1000 voice activated apps in the new Audi. “Is your radio station ready to be prominent in the car… is your radio station offering interaction through voice,” asked Cranwell.

With interactive voice functions, stations can integrate selling, donations to charities, interactive campaigns/promotions, and sponsored voice games. “Everyone loves a pub quiz, why not do one via an interactive voice interface,” he suggested.

Cranwell also discussed having your own audio apps and asked, why bother with them?

Here are the reasons why he thinks it is worth radio stations bothering to have their own apps:

  • To find first party data, to capture your own data
  • Better audience engagement is an extension of your brand now and people are willing to register and give you their data if you engage with them well enough. First party data is very valuable
  • Talk shows – are you capturing them in the podcast library part of your app, why not get advertisers to sponsor the library back-catalog
  • E Commerce can be integrated into your app
  • Programmatic ads – it’s easy money and there is a lot of money going through programmatic at the moment
  • It gives you the ability to interact through smart speakers for games and interactivity
  • Social media – live audio rooms (Clubhouse), use these new channels


Roger Cutsforth, who had a long career in radio sales before founding radio and audio consultancy White Label Studio, gave an agency view about buying digital.

“When I went to pitch to customers we spent a lot of time talking about our wonderful brands but not enough time on what the prospects wanted to do… digital buying cuts through all that,” he said.

He says radio networks must integrate digital revenues and make their audio ads available in the digital space. “Radio ad revenues have been challenged by the digital world… buying digital is easy. With radio the advertisers still have to talk to people and find out which station is best, then buy it… they prefer a dashboard, it makes it easy for them to buy.”

If audio is to hard to buy they will just go for the digital channel. He says clients want radio stations to “make it easy for us to buy radio… At the moment, it’s too hard.”

Buyers don’t know audio very well, so Cutsforth urges radio sales departments to think about what is going  on in their world and relate to them by using programmatic language and tolls. “Relate it to what they know and educate them about what audio can do. Don’t talk about numbers, instead tell them about the strengths and benefits of audio. Where do we fit in their ecosystem and why will it work?”

This attitude is also holding back both radio and podcast advertising according to Cutsforth.

AdTonos is a platform and marketplace for digital audio advertising.


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