By Grace Donnelly
March 28, 2018

Adobe announced a new tool that allows audio publishers to better understand their audiences at the Adobe Summit in Las Vegas Wednesday.

The move was driven by client needs, with brands like Audible and Sirius XM reaching out to ask for more granular tools, said Nate Smith, group manager of product marketing for Adobe Analytics Cloud.

While existing tools allowed audio publishers to see if listeners were staying with a program through specific milestones — all the way through commercials, for example — Adobe’s new audio capabilities in its Analytics Cloud gives a more complete picture of engagement.

Publishers can see where their listeners are coming from, exactly when they’re leaving, and where they go next after they do leave. The Analytics Cloud also offers AI tools that can detect anomalies, like excessive buffering, that might be driving away listeners.

The audio streaming audience is large: Pandora has 92 million monthly active users and Spotify has 89 million, while iHeartRadio has about 30 million, according to AdAge. The listeners are also young, making them a prime target for advertisers.

“The growth in audio listening in the millennial range is pretty outstanding,” Smith said, based on surveys conducted by Adobe.

Digital audio advertising grew 42% in the first half of 2017, compared to the year before. Of the $603 million spent, nearly 75% came from mobile ads, according to the most recent ad revenue report from the Interactive Advertising Bureau.

“Brands have been largely in the dark when it comes to understanding how audio is consumed. Marketers have been essentially gambling with their budget,” said Jeff Allen, senior director of product marketing for Adobe Analytics Cloud.

A survey from AdAge and RBC Capital Markets showed that Spotify was the third-most popular place to advertise, with 40% of marketers saying they were interested. Only Instagram (at 64%) and Amazon (at 43%) beat out the streaming platform.

Though audio is still a relatively small slice of the advertising pie at less than 2% of all web ad revenue, this is only likely to increase as Gen Z and millennials continue to stream more often than any other age groups and as devices like Amazon Echo and Google Home gain popularity.

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