Voice-Enabled Ads Spur Australian Radio, USA Next?

March 4, 2020

New Technology “Down Under” Makes Audio More Prevalent In The Consumer Journey.

This is from a recent report by Radio & Television Business Report’s Adam Jacobson.

Addressable advertising is a hot topic of discussion among television industry leaders convinced ATSC 3.0, marketed as NEXTGEN TV, will be a game-changer.

But, where does that leave the radio industry? Here’s food for thought: Voice-enabled advertising, with a focus on in-car radio station consumption, could bring marketers and radio groups results they’ve been clamoring for.

It’s already happening in Australia, with one radio station group getting notice by marketers across the continent.

Nova Entertainmentoperator of the “Nova”-branded Top 40 stations heard in such cities as Adelaide, Melbourne, Brisbane, Sydney and Perth, is being praised for the successful launch of an interactive audio commercial format designed to increase user engagement while tuned to a radio program or podcast.

According to Australian business journal CMO, Nova created a Google Assistant Action that adds activation and interaction capabilities to advertising audiences as they listen to a spot on a live radio station or a podcast while in their vehicles.

Or, at home.

Or, via a mobile device.

Nova’s inaugural run with the new technology involves a promotion for brand-wide breakfast program Ben & Liam and Nova’s “Red Room,” an intimate music venue hosted by Nova Entertainment. Listeners were given the opportunity to win an invite to the Red Room, where the hosts would be present to greet them and perhaps introduce a headline act Guy Sebastian on Friday, Feb. 14. To enter the contest, Google Home users were given the following opportunity: OK, Google, tell Nova to enter the comp.

This option went along with the standard contest entry options for listeners. But, for those in the car, it didn’t require recall and having to enter when it was safe to do so.

In a chat with CMO, Nova Chief Digital Officer Fayad Tohme said the spots mark a significant evolution in digital audio marketing capabilities.

“For the first time, listeners will be able to interact directly with a smart advertisement, responding in real time to a call to action, requesting more information and even connecting directly with an advertiser,” he said. “The result is a more interactive, engaging experience for the listener and greater impact for the advertiser.”

Further, Nova Chief Commercial Officer Peter Charlton views voice-driven interactivity as an important next step toward personalization.

“Our priority has always been to evolve the listening experience in line with changes to the lives and habits of our audiences,” he said. “The ubiquity of voice command can’t be ignored, and neither can the clear change it represents to deepen our audience connection. This is an exciting creative and commercial opportunity for Nova and our partners.”

Douglas Nicol, who heads strategy for Australian creative shop The Works, believes it is a sign marketers have caught up to audio content consumption shifts driven by millennials and parents with young children.

“All marketers should be making a substantial investment and understand where voice fits into the customer journey and where it fits into customer experience,” he said. “This particular opportunity is great because the battle to own the car and voice is a huge one. We spend a lot of time in our cars and it has been very hard to make radio an interactive medium … this would appear to be the start of it in Australia.”

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