SoundCloud works with Triton on programmatic play

A bid to make streaming audio more targeted in Canada

SoundCloud is monetizing its Canadian offering, bringing a new opportunity for audio advertisers north of the border.

The ad-supported audio streaming service will offer a programmatic ad exchange through its new monetization partner, Triton Digital, a familiar name to Canadian audio advertisers.

The Los Angeles-based audio programmatic exchange already boats an extensive roster of Canadian clients. The announcement comes weeks after Triton announced a similar partnership with SoundCloud in Australia and New Zealand, using Triton’s A2X audio ad exchange.

“This creates a real opportunity for those marketers to reach their target audiences through the audio medium, and because it’s digital, doing it in a very targeted way,” said John Rosso, the president of market development for Triton Digital.

Rosso said that while broadcast radio advertisers traditionally send the same message to all listeners, the digital audio exchange will allow advertisers to reach more targeted audiences.

Audiences using the streaming service on a mobile device can be targeted based on location, carrier, device manufacturer, operating system and more.

“Importantly, you can target against any third-party data sources that are out there, so all the same sources that are typically used today to deliver targeted campaigns in the display and video business can now be applied to the audio business,” said Rosso, adding that A2X enables audience retargeting as well. “If you’re a marketer with your own audience segment that represents people you want to retarget, we can leverage that audience segment and retarget those people with audio advertising now.”

The A2X platform is used by a wide variety of radio broadcasters in Canada, the United States and 35 other countries, as well as audio streaming services like Spotify and Pandora.

“When you’re listening to music on your phone, whether its streaming Spotify or a NewCap station, you’re not looking at your screen,” said Rosso. “So display ads don’t work, video ads tend to be problematic on mobile often because of the size of the ad you’re trying to squeeze over a cellular connection, so we believe audio is an almost custom-tailored ad unit for mobile.”

Rosso adds that because SoundCloud doesn’t run a large volume of ads, it provides a relatively uncluttered environment for reaching targeted audiences.

“We say it’s always above the fold, because you really can’t miss it,” he said. “The content stops and the audio ad plays, and typically, because the audio ads are short in duration, maybe 15 or 30 seconds, they’re not all that intrusive, they’re not skip-able generally. So the audience is exposed to the ad in a way that’s not intrusive, is sort of native to the medium and is a perfect fit for mobile consumption.”

While programmatic mobile audio advertising opportunities in Canada are limited in comparison to other, larger markets like the United States, Rosso said Triton’s new partnership with SoundCloud could mark the start of a more robust ecosystem.

“With the broadcasters opening up to in-stream inventory, and now with SoundCloud adding audio ads to their large user community, you will now see the inventory available is enough that it will be of interest to marketers, with enough unique impressions that they can scale their campaigns nicely,” he said.

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