Digital audio is having a cultural moment. There’s the Serial phenomena, and Slate has published a whole series to mark the tenth anniversary of the podcast, but perhaps the most compelling proof is that there are now 159.8MM people listening to digital audio every month, according to eMarketer. To learn more about digital audio, we spoke with Leigh Newsome, co-CEO and CTO of TargetSpot, a Quantcast Measure and Advertise user.

QC: Can you tell us about TargetSpot?

LN: TargetSpot provides a technology platform to manage digital audio ad campaigns with highly advanced targeting. We started as self-service bidding platform for audio campaigns. While we still retain that core technology, we have developed it into a fully managed service platform for agencies and publishers. We work with just about about every major agency and over 85 publishers, such as CBS Radio, Entercom, Univision, SBS, Grooveshark, and our owned and operated service Radionomy.

QC: Is digital audio advertising today more like terrestrial radio or digital display? Where is it headed?

LN: It is a little of both. Currently, we are moving towards more of the digital display end of the spectrum. Digital audio advertising is a very interesting place to be right now. It maintains many of the benefits of advertising on terrestrial radio. You are able to cut through the clutter and noise more effectively since listening to an audio ad is a one-to-one experience between the listener and the advertiser, you don’t have multiple ads competing for a listener’s attention like you do in display advertising. You can only hear one thing at a time!

Brands are able to to connect with people on a passion point; people are very invested in and seek out what they listen to — a Country music fan self-identifies as a Country fan, just like a Classical music fan thinks of herself in a way that aligns with Classical music. What you listen to is a very personal choice and is not an arbitrary decision.

However, digital audio also brings many of the efficiencies and benefits inherent to any digital medium. Firstly, digital audio overcomes the hurdles of proximity and scale as it’s not restricted to the strength of a broadcast signal. New Yorkers can just as easily listen to KROQ, an L.A. based station, as they can listen to WPLJ, a popular NY based station. While that may not seem significant in itself, add that to the efficiencies of digital: highly targeted ads, 3rd party data, buying and executing campaigns digitally, analytics and optimization, etc. and you suddenly end up with a very powerful platform for reaching consumers.

QC: How does digital audio listenership compare to the broadcast audience?

LN: We ran a study on attitudes towards advertising in digital audio and interestingly enough there are big differences between digital audio and radio broadcast listeners. We found that, when asked for reasons people stop listening to a broadcast, radio broadcast listeners were 23% more likely than digital audio to stop listening because an ad was disturbing/offensive or because it was not personally relevant. Also we found that 70% of digital audio listeners are comfortable receiving ads based on their Internet radio usage and/or content preferences. I think this speaks to the level of sophistication and acceptance of Internet users towards “relevant” online advertising. I believe more people are okay with being advertised to if they are receiving value for their attention. People, for the most part, know that the “free” Gmail address they use or their Facebook account are paid with the currency of their attention to ads. And digital audio listeners are even more receptive to this idea of a value exchange when we give the right message to the right listener.

QC: What are advertisers looking for in digital audio spots?

LN: Typically we see marketing goals split along two buying groups, broadcast radio buyers and digital teams but increasing the dividing line is starting to blur between the two. Digital teams are looking for more granular audience segmentation across various psychographic categories, campaign optimization, analytics and many parameters they use to measure their digital display and video campaigns. While broadcast buyers tend to focus on demographic targeting, frequency and reach, pricing efficiencies, share of voice and other variables in broadcast radio buys. However, we’re seeing these two group coming together and informing each other further up the media planning stream. Agencies and brands are starting to incorporate digital audio more holistically into their media campaigns. It’s been interesting to watch some of the broadcast people become way more digitally savvy and probably even more interesting to watch some of the digital teams think a little more analog.

QC: How are you working with Quantcast?

LN: We’ve been working with Quantcast as well as with DMPs for a while now to add additional layers of audience verification and psychographic targeting to our ad serving capabilities. In our industry, we are known as the technological leader in advanced audio ad targeting. With that in mind, we’ve really doubled down on getting deep insights on our network and audience. We’ve integrated Quantcast Measure to learn more about our audience from gender, age, ethnicity, education, household income, and more. We’re also using Quantcast Advertise to deliver targeted advertising, including based on our audience’s purchasing behaviors which are outside our scope of visibility. It’s important to us to know not only what people are listening to but also what are some brand messages that they’ll find valuable. For our brand partners there is an obvious value in that information but for our publishing partners it helps them offer users a better listening experience.

QC: Are there any recent successes you’d like to share?

LN: 2014 was a huge year for TargetSpot. We completed our merger with Internet radio platform Radionomy to form the Radionomy Group. We’ve had an eye on expanding internationally and Radionomy, as one of the leading global Internet radio platforms was a great fit for us. We also purchased streaming platform SHOUTcast and media player WINAMP from AOL, which means we now power roughly half of all Internet radio globally. That’s huge!

The market has reacted very positively. We were awarded the 2014 RAIN Award for Best Overall Digital Strategy, edging out some excellent semi-finalist like iHeartMedia (formerly Clear Channel), NPR, TuneIn, etc. And in 2015 we’re laser focused on driving the digital audio industry further towards more data driven marketing and more granular audience segmentation.

Posted by Art Prateepvanich, Head of Product Marketing, Publisher Solutions

Over the past few weeks we have posted some of our favourite sessions from the UK Supernova Big Data Summit but there is still much more to see over on our Vimeo channel. There you can see videos including Kenn Cukier (Data Editor, The Economist) talking about the new frontiers of Big Data and a panel session chaired by Tess Alps (ThinkBox) discussing the effectiveness of digital advertising.

Another highlight from Supernova London was the opening keynote from Quantcast CEO and founder Konrad Feldman, in which he explained the importance of incremental improvements on the road to achieving great change, how Big Data has progressed over the years, and how consumer relevance is key to everything Quantcast does.

Posted by Duncan Way, Marketing Associate

From off-the-grid messaging to text messages that disappear, private social networks that let women vet dating partners, and much, much more – our ways of communicating have significantly changed and will only continue to change in response to new technology. In this panel discussion from the Supernova NY Big Data Summit, representatives from major apps and platforms discuss the future of communication. How do you reach audiences that have grown up with completely new and different communications channels? Moderated by Michael Learmonth, global technology editor for the International Business Times, the panelists included:

  • Micha Benoliel, CEO and co-founder, Open Garden (creators of FireChat)
  • Deborah Singer, VP of marketing, Lulu
  • Anna Roth, Product Marketing Research, Microsoft Skype
  • Dez White, App Founder (Invisible Text, Rap Battle Live, Blind Debt, GirlCodeLA)

For more information on Supernova NY, visit the summit website and keep an eye on the Quantcast Blog for more video recordings of the sessions!

Posted by Capri LaRocca, Marketing Communications Associate

As 2014 comes to a close, there are many things to take a look back on. When Quantcast Advertise launched in 2009, the adoption of Quantcast Measure was so widespread that our anonymous records of media consumption spanned the entire US Internet population. In 2010, Advertise expanded internationally to the UK. Today, we’re available in a total of 23 international markets. This past year brought Advertise to Mexico in addition to Australia and New Zealand, our first entries into the Asia-Pacific arena.

Quantcast’s real-time, instantaneous map of web activity allows us to anticipate audience behaviors, tailor ad delivery to the specific journey of each and every consumer, and influence the path to conversion for total precision advertising. Our mission has always centered on the concept of “quantcasting” instead of broadcasting; making real-time decisions to create more relevant advertising experiences for consumers. We look forward to continuing to expand Advertise across the globe.

To learn more about Quantcast Advertise and expanding your global footprint, visit our website or contact us. To learn more about the history of Quantcast, check out the two-part story, “Why Broadcast When You Can Quantcast?” from Konrad Feldman, Quantcast CEO and co-founder, on the blog: Part 1 and Part 2.

Posted by Capri LaRocca, Marketing Communications Associate

With a background in biological research, Chris Wiggins is the first Chief Data Scientist for The New York Times. In his session at the Supernova Big Data Summit, he explains how to transform a company to be data-driven, the toolsets and mindsets required to optimize toward what matters, and The New York Times’ innovative approach to creating relationships with audiences.

In the same way that data is changing advertising, it is also changing publishing and the way that many industries now look at their problems. Considering this, data science is both an enabling opportunity and a challenge. Watch how Wiggins unpacks the need for not only a change of toolset but also a change of mindset to truly unlock the enabling ability of data. You may think you have a relationship with data or that a 163-year-old company like The New York Times can’t be a start-up, but Wiggins challenges those and other preconceptions in this insightful session from Supernova NY:

Posted by Capri LaRocca, Marketing Communications Associate

It’s a cliché because it’s entirely true — the most valuable assets to any successful company are its people. We’ve done a lot at Quantcast to try and build an organization and culture that results in a place where people like to come to work and, more importantly, feel like they can pursue fulfilling, challenging careers. We’re incredibly proud to say that, according to our employees, we seem to be getting things right.

Quantcast has just been named one of Glassdoor’s Best Places to Work in 2015.

What makes this particular award stand out for us is that it’s based on the honest, unvarnished feedback of the great people who work here. Glassdoor looks at the anonymous comments, good and bad, that employees leave on the site and from there determines which companies are doing right by their employees.

So we’re proud, humbled even, that the people who work here really like working here. And we’re even more excited because it’s a reflection of the great people who have played a role in building our company. About 600 of us, spread across offices around the world, all sharing in a vision of the business and ideas we’re trying to build, committed to experimenting and trying new things. Most importantly, being transparent and supportive with one another as we push to constantly do better and bigger.

A huge thank you to every member of the Quantcast team! And if you’d like to join and see why this is such a great place to be, check out our current job openings.

Posted by Konrad Feldman, CEO and Co-Founder

The future of digital media was center stage at the Supernova Big Data Summit in New York last month. The event included some of the world’s top marketing and media executives for an afternoon of amazing dialogue on how Big Data is impacting advertising and digital media. Speakers included brand marketers from British Airways, Marriott International, and The Limited, as well as publishers such as The New York Times and Vox Media.

In the highlight video below, check out some of the memorable moments from the event – including how different industries are using data to inform their business strategies and decisions.

The real-time media revolution is here.

Over the next few weeks, we’ll be releasing videos of some of the presentations at Supernova NY. For a peek at what’s to come, you can check out a full list of speakers on the Supernova NY website, see photo highlights in our Facebook album, and read some of the key takeaways in our recap blog post. The conversations shaping the future of digital media don’t stop once the event is over; the impact and insights have only just begun.

Posted by Capri LaRocca, Marketing Communications Associate

World-famous Formula 1 driver David Coulthard took the stage for the final presentation at Supernova London. Drawing on his experience with fast cars and fast data, he gave a thrilling insight into this very unique use of big data.

Over his 247 races, David used real-time data to gain 62 podium finishes. In this fireside chat, he explains why the real-time element is so important in a fast-paced industry where there are only 20 opportunities to sell your product every year.

Posted by Duncan Way, Marketing Associate

The second panel of the Supernova London event was chaired by Pete Robins, Founder of leading media agency Agenda21. He was joined by Phil Duffield (Adap.tv), Nick Reid (TubeMogul), Benjamin Faes (Google) and Tom Bowman (BBC Worldwide).

Together the group explored issues surrounding video advertising including how advertisers can get started in the video advertising space, the relationship between TV and online video, and the current nature of the industry.

Check back in a couple of days for another video from Supernova London!

Posted by Duncan Way, Marketing Associate

The first fireside chat of the Supernova Big Data Summit in London featured Sam Barnett (CEO and founder, Struq) and James Dunford (online marketing manager, Cotswold Outdoor).

A longtime Struq client and past Quantcast customer, James was able to not only guide the audience through the difficult transition from brick-and-mortar to online, but also to give his thoughts on Quantcast’s recent acquisition of Struq and his opinion of what the future could hold.

Posted by Duncan Way, Marketing Associate