Marketers, Tune In

How Programmatic Audio Trends Can Drive Your Next Campaign's Success

photo of Juan Rodriguez

 Juan Rodriguez 

Supervisor, Programmatic

image of Mhairi Turnbull

Mhairi Turnbull 

Manager, Programmatic

It’s a place to meet your audience where they are, and it isn’t going away any time soon.

Should programmatic audio be in your next media plan? 

 We’ll share our insights into this dynamic programmatic channel to help you answer that question.  

First, it’s important to note audio is a channel within programmatic versus a strategy.  

There are many ways JUST delivers effective programmatic strategies for brands. While not all of these strategies apply to audio currently, we’re seeing rapid adoption and expansion of the channel.   

As the audio channel within programmatic continues to evolve, we’re here to share the audio trends you need to know, targeting and reporting capabilities, audio platform partners and what’s ahead for this exciting channel.  

Let’s dive in. 

Audio Trends

Ad Age’s recent spending report cites advertiser’s media dollars to broadcast radio has declined 26.4% from 2019 to 2020.  

While media buying across traditional radio has declined, the audio channel is still certainly a viable channel for consumers which they aren’t giving up anytime soon. Comscore has been tracking at-home audio streaming online during the pandemic and, not surprisingly, it’s way up.  

New research from Comscore shows a sharp increase in use beginning in early April that continued to rise through mid-June. According to Comscore, total daily audio streaming hours has increased 32% from the week of December 30, 2019 to the week of June 15, 2020.  

Popular streaming services like iHeartRadio, Pandora and Spotify are leading the increase while other industry players like Spotify only saw a slight increase (1%). Pandora saw the largest increase from January to May with an increase of 42%. 

 Media buyers have been quick to recognize this trend and see it’s valuable for advertisers. In 2019, programmatic media buyers in the US cited a 46.8% increase in their budget allotments for digital audio. 

Our friends at Pandora shared a few points that shed light on the current situation, what shelter-in-place has done to individuals’ lives, and what music listening means to them: 

  • 42% are streaming more audio  
  • 82% say music improves their mood  
  • 77% say it relieves their stress  
  • 50% want to see/hear ads that are positive and uplifting 

Targeting & Reporting Capabilities

Programmatic audio provides a brand-safe, measurable and powerful opportunity to immerse audiences in your brand complete with actionable insights, transparent reporting and frequency capping. 

Device Type:
  • Mobile (In-app, Web and Optimized Web)  
  • PC  
  • Tablet  
  • Connected TV   
  • Roku  
  • Sonos 
  • Use data from audio partners — target specific genres, playlists, and demographics  
  • 1st party and 3rd party data targeting  
  • Retarget users who have completed an audio ad 

Programmatic Audio inventory is available in few formats: 

Similar to other programmatic strategies, the audio channel offers sophisticated delivery and targeting:

Here’s how you can think about measuring programmatic audio performance alongside optimization: 



  • Reach / Unique Reach  
  • Completion Rate  


  • Landing page visits  
  • ROAS  
  • Store visits 
Reporting Grains*  


  • Completion Rate  
  • Quartile Completions  
  • GRP reports through Nielsen (demographic data)  
  • Companion Clicks +  
  • Impressions  
  • Geo  
  • Data Segment 


  • Device Type  
  • Operating System  
  • Frequency  
  • Time of Day  
  • Day of Week  
  • Geo 

*Some reporting grains are specific to TTD and partners not all are available within GCM 

At JUST, we’re always looking to create holistic marketing campaigns for brands. We see the greatest return for our clients by working across channels and disciplines from conception to optimization.  

For example, with cross-device targeting and attribution turned on, we can serve sequential messaging across all channels and devices: 

Pro Tip: Test player event retargeting by retargeting users who have completed 50% – 100% of an ad across a different channel. Push users further down the purchase funnel by serving them an ad outside of awareness-based audio 

Audio Partners

“Pandora has evolved from a publisher to an audio platform that uses the Passion Point of music to provide targeted delivery at scale without waste in a personalized and contextually relevant environment”

  • 106 million monthly unique listeners — scale with one of the worlds leading pure-play audio inventory suppliers   
  • Access Pandora’s proprietary 1st-party data segments (demo, geo, genre, ROS) or bring your own 1st or 3rd party audience data  
  • Spot lengths of :15, and :30 with companion banners (video also available up to :30s)   
  •  Mobile in-app and Desktop available 

“Soundcloud is the world’s largest open audio platform, powered by a connected community of logged-in creators, listeners and curators on the pulse of what's new, now and next in culture”

  • 280 million monthly listeners  
  • Target pure-play streaming by demo, geo, and app using first- and third-party data  
  • Creates unique one-to-one relationships between creator and listener — 80% unduplicated audiences from Spotify   
  • Spot lengths of :15 and :30 

BETA Exclusive: PAX Podcast Marketplace is Pandora’s new podcast solution that allows advertisers to reach podcast audiences at scale across a variety of reputable podcast properties. Through JUST’s relationship with Pandora, we have the capability to enlist B2B brands for beta testing. Contact JUST to learn more. 

Looking Ahead

So, will programmatic audio be in your next media plan? 

We hope to have shed some light on audio streaming channels as potential marketing channel. 

It’s a place to meet your audience where they are, and it isn’t going away any time soon. 


Want to know more about what’s possible with Programmatic?

Contact us today to unleash your programmatic potential.


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