Patience required with an Audio Internet

Patience required with an audio internet ecosystem ‘stuck in the 90s’

Alex Brownsell
Source: Event Reports, The Impact of Voice & Sound, March 2019
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Executives from Google, The New York Times, Mindshare and HSBC discuss how audio advertising is likely to develop in the coming years.

The audio internet remains “nascent” and should be approached by brands in a spirit of experimentation, much like the written web in the 1990s. Voice brand interactions offer double the emotional engagement to those situations where a consumer has typed the brand name. Faced with “brand decay”, advertisers like HSBC are investing in “sound identities” to help them “cut across” to distracted customers. Publishers are in the midst of a podcast “gold rush”, but, ultimately, the digital platforms are likely to “seize control” of the podcast ad market.

The World Wide Web has come a long way since the early days of dodgy dial-up connections and rudimentary search engines. It was a point that Brenda Salinas, a Google executive, was at pains to make when she offered a demonstration of The Washington Post’s impossibly archaic website as it had looked at its inception in 1996.

Speaking at the World Media Group Briefing on ‘The Impact of Voice & Sound’ (London, March 2019), Salinas – who works on news partnerships for Google – emphasised that the industry is at a similarly embryonic stage of development when it comes to audio and voice.

“As far as the audio internet, this is where we are: we are in 1996. It is a very nascent technology and we think it has a bunch of potential, but there are a lot of unanswered questions. Even the most creative among us are still not sure which way this is going to go,” said Salinas.

Whether it be voice-activated devices powered by machine learning AI or journalistic podcasts, marketers are increasingly excited by the potential to establish a sonic connection with consumers. As event chair Clancy Childs, chief product and technology officer at Dow Jones Professional Information, commented, the “amount of audio-friendly content is multiplying minute by minute”. For full article please CLICK HERE

About the author
Alex Brownsell
Senior Editor – Media,
WARC alex.brownsell@warc.com

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