Digital Audio has seen rapid growth in recent years and for good reason. It’s immersive, available almost anywhere, and users have complete control over what they listen to. Between podcasts, audio books, and digital streaming, there is no shortage of content available. For these reasons, we saw digital audio surpass traditional radio in 2020 in terms of minutes consumed, and then expand the gap by a wide margin in 2021.

What is Digital Audio

Digital audio encompasses any audio-based content that can be streamed or downloaded online. A few examples of digital audio would be music streaming services like Spotify, Soundcloud and 8tracks. There are podcast specific platforms like Stitcher and Shoutcast. And finally, digital radio platforms like iheartradio (Bell Media) and Triton Digital. You may recognize a few of these brands that have become household names during the rise of digital audio. 

The Audio-pportunity 

Sorry about the pun, I’m a dad so I’m legally obligated to include at least one per post. 


Since the majority of these platforms are made possible through advertising revenue, we are also seeing growth in digital audio ads. This is where we come in. Glacier has access to run programmatic audio ads in all major digital audio platforms so that your advertisers can leverage digital audio and reach the right audience at the right time. Why is audio the perfect place for an ad spot? There are a number of great reasons:

  • Audio is immersive: many digital audio listeners are tuned-in to their headphones and tuned-out of all of the noise around them. This gives advertisers the ability to literally cut out the noise, and deliver their message directly to the ears of the listener. 
  • Listener-level targeting: ads are not served to a blanket audience. They leverage all of the targeting parameters of regular programmatic ads in order to reach a highly specific target audience based on their demographic, income, interests, location and more.
  • On-The-Go: reach listeners when they’re on the go, in the car, at work, or at home across many devices—desktop, mobile, tablet, smart speakers and connected cars.
  • Share of Voice: Each ad placement consists of one, non-skippable ad at a time which means that your client is not fighting to be seen among a plethora of ads at once. 
  • Highly Measurable: track the impact of your audio campaigns in real-time and report on completion rates, cost-per-completion and more. We can also track listeners who have listened to an audio ad, and serve them display ads on their devices the next time they are online.


How to Use Programmatic Audio

Audio is an emotionally engaging, top-of-funnel tactic. It can be used as a standalone channel, however, it is best used as a powerful complement to other programmatic channels like display and CTV. Using a mix of tactics allows us to increase touch points at different levels of the funnel. For example, consider the following scenario:


Your client is an online university, trying to reach prospective students. After targeting users who are consuming content about undergraduate admissions and scholarships, a prospect is served an audio ad that mentions the name of the university, and the availability of scholarships. We filter out any users who did not listen to at least 75% of the ad, and then follow up by serving them a video programmatic ad that shows lifestyle video of the university with a focus on scholarships while listing some other benefits. Next, we are able to retarget those users with display ads that direct users to the university’s website where they can access all of this information and more. 


By leading users through the funnel like this, we are building valuable brand awareness and increasing the likelihood that an end user will consider our client when it comes time to make their decision. 


Next Steps

If you want to learn more about programmatic audio, you can watch the explainer video on GMD Academy to learn more. 


If you have a client that you believe would be a good fit for audio programmatic, reach out to your DC, or email with your questions.