Streaming audio still hotter with listeners than with marketers, and that's an opportunity, says Forrester report

Monday, August 12, 2013 - 1:00pm

A new Forrester Research report touts "in-stream audio" as a powerful and still under-utilized advertising vehicle. Report author Anthony Mullen encourages marketers to take advantage of the "unique user experience, targeted reach, and guaranteed impressions" that services like Internet radio afford.

The growing popularity of mobile usage actually enhances this advantage. Display ads won't work as well on mobile's small screen, but an audio ad delivered to a mobile device (and through headphones) is (at least) as functional as through computer speakers. Even more, audio ads come one at a time, and avoid the cluttering of visual advertising.

Internet radio (and other ad-supported online audio) fell victim to being neither a purely traditional nor purely digital medium -- and often didn't get a share of campaign budgets divvied up in this way. As such, even today, advertising growth hasn't kept pace with consumers' embrace of the medium, and the full opportunity for markets remains unmet.

The report, called "In-Stream Audio Advertising," describes the maturing of the ad-delivery technology segment, including ad exchanged and real-time bidding platforms.

Inside Radio, which covered the report, wrote: "The Forrester report may not break any new ground in the minds of broadcasters. But as an objective research firm coming to many of the same conclusions as radio has presented to advertisers, it’s sure to help convince some brands to take a second look at in-stream audio ads."

Report author Anthony Mullen blogged about the report here. Purchase the report here, and read Inside Radio's coverage here.

Research shows people hate interruptive mobile ads more than TV commercials

Friday, December 14, 2012 - 12:05pm

Forrester data reveals most mobile users say "automatically-served in-app ads" are not only "interruptive," but even more annoying than TV commercials.

One expert says mobile ads can stay valuable if advertisers allow consumers to influence how ads reach them, and incentivize the process.

Ad Age reports, "Users' most-frequent (68% of respondents) request regarding mobile ads is that they don't interrupt app usage. A majority (59%) of respondents said they want to be rewarded for interacting with an in-app ad, while nearly 40% said they prefer to choose which ad they want to see from a host of options."

Read the AdAge article here.

Growing number of consumers don't think of many online tasks as "using the Internet"

Monday, October 29, 2012 - 1:20pm

A researcher for Forrester says their new data reflects the growing sense among many consumers that being online is a "fluid concept." That is, many (especially younger) people no longer think of many of their online activities as "using the Internet."

"The Internet has become such a normal part of their lives that consumers don’t register that they are using the Internet when they’re on Facebook, for example. It’s only when they are actively doing a specific task, like search, that they consider this to be time that they’re spending online," writes the Forrester researcher, Gina Sverdlov.

She thinks this trend is why she's seen a recent decline in "time spent using the Internet" among subjects in a recent study. Forrester's research is here. Sverdlov's blog is here.

Techdirt drives the point home further for media: "With online connectivity as the default for the media choices people make, it would be expected that people would be less likely to consider that 'online' behavior. As the rising generation grows up with such online-by-default choices, they will be even more likely to not consider it online activity."

Think about it: the experience of listening to Internet radio used to consist of "logging on, pointing browser to webcast site, clicking listen link." Now, it's more simply just launching an app -- as easy as "turning on a radio." You don't think about "going online" anymore, because it's in the background. If you needed to head out back and fire up the generator each time you wanted to use an electrical device in your home, you'd be far more conscious of "plugging in" than you are in the typical American 21st Century lifestyle.

Techdirt warns traditional media: "If your services do not take advantage of the connected devices the current and rising generation own and use, then you might find yourself out of business. We see this happening now. Despite what some legacy industries might believe or want, that decline in offline activity is not going to reverse itself. The more the legacy industries fight that shift in consumer behavior, the faster they will find themselves irrelevant. The best thing for these industries to do is to embrace that fluid online concept and capture the attention of the rising generation."

Read Techdirt here.

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