Spotify partners with The Trade Desk for programmatic audio Australian debut

Pippa Chambers
By Pippa Chambers | 13 October 2016
Matt Harty

Fresh off the back of its IPO news, demand-side platform (DSP) The Trade Desk has announced that brand advertisers in the Asia Pacific region are now able to buy digital audio inventory. It has already secured Spotify as a partner and has high hopes that radio networks will also jump on-board. It marks the first time The Trade Desk can offer this in Australia. 

In May last year Southern Cross Austereo partnered with Triton Digital to launch the first programmatic audio ad exchange to Australia. The move had been in the works for sometime, with AdNews first revealing SCA's programmatic play.

Trade Desk's new platform for buyers of advertising, which already offers up display, mobile, video, native, and social buys, confirmed to AdNews that its digital audio advertising offering has been successfully tested with major brands in the Asia-Pacific region.

In July AdNews reported how Spotify was aiming to pick up ad revenue momentum by making its audio ad inventory available to programmatic buyers in the US, but today's move sees it officially in action and available to the APAC region. The music streaming service struck a number of deals in the US with Rubicon, The Trade Desk and AppNexus which sees its mobile audio inventory available on private digital marketplaces and available to purchase in almost real-time.

The Trade Desk's integration with Spotify will include the ability to target audiences based on specific moments such as commute, workout and party.

Matt Harty, SVP Asia at The Trade Desk, says this is “significant” as users today are no longer just searching for specific genres or artists, rather they are now looking for playlists that would represent moments in their lives. He says with that in mind, buyers will be able to target these moments based on age and gender, all in real time. As such, campaigns will be served in-stream with 100% professional, licensed content in Spotify’s mobile, brand-safe environment.

Harty says this specific first party data combined with the capabilities of The Trade Desk’s platform will revolutionise the way a brand’s message is heard.

He adds that as the plumbing of the ad tech stack changes to accommodate programmatic audio, agencies had been scrambling to try and support such an offering.

“This is a significant step-up and just as users are demanding more bespoke experiences in general, music, and the whole experience associated with that needs to reflect that change,” he says.

Meaningful marketing

Spotify said the partnership with The Trade Desk was part of its plans to give brands the tools to create more meaningful marketing.

Head of business marketing at Spotify APAC Joanna Wong says the company is constantly looking at ways to keep its listeners engaged - even with an audio advertisement.

“As our listeners are generally a lean-forward group, they are engaged with the music and are always searching, discovering new music and curating playlists,” Wong says. 

"We are excited to be working with The Trade Desk as this added offering of programmatic inventory will definitely enhance the listener's ad-supported listening experience, and the partnership will help brands use our platform to tell their story."

Since its launch in Sweden in 2008, Spotify has made it into 60 markets globally, has more than 100 million active users and more than 40 million paying subscribers.

Looking for more

Harty says the programmatic audio offering would expand to include inventory alliances with other music streaming providers, underpinned by demand to secure access to a variety of sources.

“The Trade Desk offering will enable agency trading desks to access Spotify's advertising inventory across the Asia-Pacific region, which includes their valuable audience data,” Harty added. 

“Music streaming is booming across the region and we are already seeing big brands jump on board.”

Harty, who wouldn’t be drawn on what other brands it has secured, says it was critical to build a solution that delivers “easy to use performance reporting for agencies, strong measurement tools” and the ability to buy other ad formats such as display and video – ticking off a “true omnichannel media buying approach”.

He adds that digital audio is the perfect channel for programmatic media buying.

“Digital music is a great platform for consumers as it delivers mobility and the ability to curate your own experience,” he explains.

“These elements lead seamlessly to the precision targeting nature of programmatic advertising. As a result, we believe audio will make one of the fastest transitions to programmatic of any medium we have seen.”

IPG's trading desk Cadreon was trading digital audio ads in February 2015 on a trial basis, but GroupM's buying desk says it become the first agency to actually plug into SCA's digital audio exchange, with clients also able to access Xaxis' data management platform, Turbine, to target potential consumers.

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