Season 1 | Episode 5

Audio Advertising: Radio, Streaming, Voice Tech, and More

Episode 5 of our first season of Paid Media Coffee is all about audio!

In the olden days, radio broadcasting was where it was at. Today, podcasts, voice assistants, smart cars and more are forever changing the way consumers and marketers approach audio. 

Join our host, Kelly Mancuso, with Nebo cofounder Brian Easter, Senior Digital Strategist Calvin Su, and Strategist Jay Goodwin as we dive into this channel and explore how voice tech and digital media have changed the medium.

Kelly: Welcome to Paid Media Coffee. I'm your host, Kelly Mancuso, and today we're talking about audio. I'm joined by three very talented guests. First we have Calvin Su. He's a senior digital strategist at Nebo. Welcome to the podcast.

Calvin: Happy to be here, Kelly.

Kelly: We also have Brian Easter. He is a co-founder of Nebo. Welcome back.

Brian: Thank you, Kelly. Thank you for inviting me back.

Kelly: Of course, and last but not least, we also have Jay Goodwin, he's a strategist here at Nebo. Welcome to this side of the microphone, Jay!

Jay: I'm normally on the other side, so we'll see how this goes.

Kelly: Yep. Fun fact. Jay is one of the people behind the scenes that helps to make this podcast a reality.

Brian: A little asterisk there. Jay also, even though he's on her intelligence team and a strategist, he's also, you know, leading the charge for all things, voice for Nebo. So we've got a definite expert on the podcast.

Jay: Setting the bar pretty high.

PMC Episode 5

Kelly: All right. Well, great. So moving on, let's jump right into it. So far in the podcast, we've been talking about the Digital future of traditional media buying and the convergence of traditional and digital. We've covered video and out of home specifically as different channels. And today we're digging into audio. 

So, you know, we all know that for a long time, traditional broadcast radio was really the only way to monetize audio. And that's obviously no longer the case. Um, and what I think a lot of marketers don't realize is actually how complex the audio advertising landscape is. Um, so I'd like for you three to help walk me through what that looks like, and you know, how ad dollars are kind of falling across the audio landscape in general.

Brian: Kelly, I'd like to jump into that real quick because I think there is a tendency for us to view audio through the lens of radio. But actually voice and voice tech and this and world we're going in where it's a click, swipe type AND talk is changing a lot of that because what used to be a medium where you just read a book, is now a podcast or an audiobook, which brings in advertising at times. What used to be something where you just went to Google and looked up directions or whatnot. Now, as you know, audio and smart, voice devices and smart voice technology make their way into automobiles. That's changing things too.

Not all the advertising is there yet, but you're seeing that it's not just us consuming music it's consuming things that we previously didn't consume, via audio.

Kelly: And really facilitating multitasking as well, because we're allowed to do those things that previously we needed hands or eyeballs to do, and now we don't, so we can do other things at the same time.

Jay: Yeah, for sure. I think kind of piggybacking off of the podcasts, a lot of people that listen to podcasts like religiously, one of their main reasons is because they can do other things while they're listening to that podcast. So they could be cooking dinner and, you know, hanging out with the kids, whatever the case may be.

And Brian, to your point about these new ways that we're getting voice content, you can have a smart speaker in your living room and in your kitchen or in your bathroom, or really wherever in your house. and people that have one tend to get more than one and put them in different rooms in their house.

So it's just like the bathroom is a place where you weren't going to get that before unless you brought your phone in there and are trying to listen to something while you're in the shower or something like that. But now you can have the speaker really anywhere you want. Um, to get all kinds of content.

Kelly: I used to have one of those shower radios back in the day when I was in high school. I used to listen to some like stupid morning show. I think when I was getting ready for high school. It's just a little flashback there to age myself.

Brian: Kelly can I just plant a visual? I can see you singing in the shower, religiously to that little radio. I can just say, I can see it in my head. You doing your best. Kelly Clarkson or something.

Kelly: Yeah, probably was Kelly Clarkson.

Calvin: And to answer your question, Kelly, like going back to where we're seeing those ad dollars fall, um, we're definitely still seeing ad dollars still dominate traditional advertising.

Like. You no TV. That's similar to radio advertising on broadcast radio actually was estimated to bring in about 18 billion this year. But in contrast, digital radio span is just about 2.3 billion. So there's definitely still that gap there, but that spend is fast growing. Like Brian, just talked about, like Jay just talked about, we're seeing that increase in streaming audio.

So as we see this adoption of newer technology, we'll likely see consumer behavior shift and then likely we'll see where those ad dollars will follow as well.

Kelly: For sure. I know that some DSPs are working on integrating capabilities to be able to buy broadcast radio programmatically.

I think that opens up the door for a lot of advertisers to tap into that inventory where, you know, previously maybe it was another team or you know, they didn't have a lot of experience buying traditional, radio or traditional advertising in general. And now they can. So I think that will just help drive that increase even more.

Brian: Well, what's interesting, there's a little bit of a contradiction in contrast that we don't expect in a lot of ways because as traditional mediums like TV, radio, and others are being able to be purchased in much more of a digital or programmatic fashion. Some of the newer tech that is out there, whether it's podcasts or streaming.

You have to go back to old school ways of buying. And it's sort of ironic that as we're able to buy TV in a smarter way now, or be able to buy audiences or radio or even billboards, to go buy a podcast, by and large, you're picking up the phone, you're calling NPR, or you're calling somebody. And the same thing with a lot of the other mediums, you're having to buy directly from Spotify.

You have to buy directly from, these platforms. Now, obviously that could have changed by the time I read that a week ago. But the point is, it's weird that some of the more digital-first voice platforms you have to buy traditionally and some of the traditional platforms you can buy digitally.

Kelly: I mean, I, there are definitely DSPs that you can tap into some of those streaming radio capabilities, but. you know, depending on what kind of targeting and inventory you want to go after, that direct buy, can typically get a more premium option. So we've talked about streaming radio, local, national broadcast radio podcasts.

How should an advertiser evaluate these different channels and like, why would you choose one or the other and how do you align those with different marketing goals?

Jay: I think it all comes down to like knowing who you're trying to talk to and where they are. I think an interesting use for this, is actually if we just take a step back and there's, there's a lot of different ways to get this content, this especially audio content.

And so when I hear it, I think one of the best cases I can think of is, um, gamers because they tend to be under the age of 35. They tend to be male. And that cohort also tends to not pay for cable TV. And so this is the way that you could reach them, whether they're, you know, because if, especially if we're looking at e-sports as this gigantic growing thing, this is a way that a lot of advertisers are reaching them, um, whether it's partnerships or podcast or, whatever, you know, Spotify ads, stuff like that, that are reaching these people. Cause they also tend to consume a lot of digital content. so I think that's, that's one use case, but I think it really just depends on. Knowing for sure who you're talking to and where they actually are.

Brian: I'll double down on that, Jay. You hit the nail on the head it's really understanding your audience at a deep level, but you have to understand them fast. Whereas before you could do quantitative and qualitative. You can do a lot of research and that research may sit with you for a couple of years.

Realistically, behaviors are changing so fast. What may have been valid six months ago isn't valid anymore. I was speaking with somebody at, um. Some of the major movie studios a couple of years ago, and they were telling me when the biggest challenges they had with marketing for Hollywood is that the metrics and the things that worked just two years ago for a romcom, they have to throw all that out and start over because of how people are consuming content and how that's changed.

Um, you can think about how even shows like game of Thrones, you know, some of the things that they were doing with voice and other things that cause they knew their audience was there. the other thing is to really go even further is, is not just about audience interest. It's also knowing where they're at in a place in time.

And I'm not talking about like the moments that Google talks about, I'm talking about, you know, if I don't believe that there's a homogenous generation, I can't say gen Z's this or millennials are that, but there are certain characteristics that may be applicable because of where they are in life.

And the bottom line is a lot of high school kids don't have as much disposable income as somebody just graduated college and has a job. So, you know, going to Spotify or some of the streaming services and placing ads may actually reach them. But even if somebody like Calvin or Jay is consuming Spotify and say they're listening for two, three, four hours a day, they're much more likely to pay for a to skip ads because they actually have the ability to, so even though there's the consumption and even those are there, there's the audience, there are all these other things. You actually have to dig deeper because it is just a different level of nuance and complication that we don't think about or we didn't use to have to think about.

Kelly: So those monetized platforms, it's not just about the audience in general, but what is the actual audience for those people who don't pay for a paid subscription?

Jay: I would say you're absolutely right because I am a heavy Spotify consumer every day. Um, like I'll get up in the morning and part of my Alexa routine is to cue up the weather. NPR's flash briefing, and then I listen to the breakfast club, which is a podcast, but they also record with iHeart radio and, you know, distribute it on broadcast radio, where they're located, which I think is in New York. But actually Spotify just released some numbers on their paid versus free users and so 56 and a half percent of their monthly active users are ad-supported. So people are more likely to use the free ad-supported versions. But I think Spotify is a little different, cause I don't even think Apple music has a free tier.

Brian: I'm not sure if they do or not. I know they obviously just changed it, but is interesting also when you think of those use cases where I'm, I have a morning routine where I ask for flash briefings and I listen to various industry stuff. But then while I'm working, I'm either listening to the news or listening to music, depending on what I'm doing. Obviously I'm not consuming ads.  But it's, it's, it is very interesting because if I'm asking Alexa something, I know that. There's probably less advertising opportunity there because Amazon's more interested in monetizing what they know about you. Whereas Google is much more interested in using this data or using this time to serve you ads.

And Apple is, is, is a little bit of a hybrid because they also are trying to play within their own ecosystem. They're more worried about the brand and selling your product, their product versus others. But all of that can shift.

Calvin: And going back to the point that you made, Jay, about podcasts, we talked about some, you know, ad-supported platforms whether that requires, you know, you pay for a service, but we have just seen a lot of brands and advocate towards podcasts because even say you pay for a subscription to Spotify, there's still those as ingrained within the podcast.

And a lot of times brands navigate towards that because they feel more native. So, podcasts as are typically host read rather than, you know, produced by the brand. And that adds a level of authenticity and almost kind of mirrors and influencer sponsorship as well. So even though you're still targeting those people who have, say, a subscription to Spotify, you're still able to serve them and ad through that podcast itself.

Brian: Calvin, I think it was interesting you what you just said, because A, you know, there is a level of trust if it's not overly produced. And authenticity is key. But also what we've seen, and I, and I don't know if this. You know, this is off topic a little bit, Kelly, so pull me back if it does.

But the audio advertising is changed so much and the use case has to be very thought through because I don't think the use case is always thought through, when you think of traditional radio. A lot of the ads were either pure brand or direct response. They're trying to get you to dial a number or go to a website, or it's just a brand ad. With the, the audio devices and the different ways we're consuming, whether it's a podcast or other things, some of those, tried and true methods just don't make sense anymore. You know, if, if I'm listening to a podcast, it's like, you know, call 1-800-FLOWERS. Yeah, it doesn't feel good. but if I'm listening to a flash briefing, and at the end of the flash briefing, uh, they're like, Hey, by the way, why don't you enable this skill that is related to the content I'm consuming?

I'm much more likely to do that. But I, brands aren't used to looking at the goal as. More skill enablement versus a phone call or traditional brand metrics?

Kelly: I think especially with audio, aligning the creative with the unique channel that it's going to be executed on is even more important than almost anything else.

I mean, comparing it to, TV or video, for example, because yeah, I mean, if you have a buy on a podcast, that's going to be a lot different than if you're buying. Through a streaming platform that's going to be targeted to an audience based on age, gender, behaviors, or location. I mean, even there, you can use more of like a dynamic creative, uh, capability.

And so the mindset needs to be much different. All right. So I'd like to talk about the challenges with audio advertising. As you know, there are challenges with everything in our industry. So what are the things that. Are still keeping advertisers awake at night in terms of their audio buys?

Calvin: Well, I think definitely one of the biggest challenges for, you know, new audio channels and for really any new technology in general is definitely the measurement. So the inability to track and report on audio ad performance. Especially as it's bought and sold programmatically, not just, you know, direct to publisher.

A lot of technology for digital ad buying initially was made for display ads, but without that, you know, pixel firing for clicks and impressions, it's harder to track. And without those consistent ad templates, it's harder to traffic. So, but as we see as the space grows, we've seen those partners and platforms start to standardize programmatic audio, ad formats and measurements.

So it's not as robust as say display or video advertising, but I think it's definitely getting there.

Kelly: And in terms of measurement, I mean, I'll just add on to that. If we're thinking about podcasts specifically, people who are listening to them can skip through ads. So we don't even know if one was, even heard in an impression,

Brian: And let's be human here. What's the use case of actually sitting through the ad. Yeah, exactly. That's essentially it, and, and to, to go into the challenges too, is I think that there's overall education. Anytime there's a, even though voice tech is the fastest growing technology in the history of the world, even faster than smart phones, it's still something that a lot of people were skeptical on.

And I know a lot of people don't remember the times when there was a pre-internet or pre smartphone, but there were skeptics that every time, you know, people thought that nobody would ever buy anything online. Then they thought nobody ever bought anything on their phone, and then they thought nobody would ever do anything business wise for social.

I hear a lot of people, I talk to somebody in a major Fortune 500 recently. And, uh, I was asking them about their voice strategy and people won't use that. And, um, and as like they, they sort of do and she's like, no, there's no use case for that.  And I actually challenged her because a lot of their audience, I don't want to, I, I want, I'm trying to be careful cause I don't want this be negative about a brand, but a lot of their audience has their hands full.

They are already using voice with Siri and these other things, even before voice tech really came about because they literally can't use their hands because their hands are doing other things. And I was like, well, what about this case? What about that case? And she's like, yeah, I just don't think - voice is a fad.

And, um, I think that, and this is somebody that I, you know, I otherwise think fairly highly of, and this is somebody who's in our industry who is, um, you know, who, who by and large gets it. But because she doesn't use voice. She can't imagine how other people would. And Imagine people that are even more removed from technology or marketing.

Jay: I mean, I'm biased, but I would agree with you and fundamentally agree with the other person that nobody's gonna use voice. I mean, we talked about this, but I think that it is the first time we've been able to communicate with our technology on our own terms without thinking a thought and translating it into our thumbs or fingers and typing it into something. We can talk to our device and they understand us and give us what we're looking for. and were human centered here. And when we think about it as, as making things easier for people, and letting them do what they want to do. And so, we've already seen just fantastic growth in voice.

You mentioned earlier, that is the fastest growing consumer technology really ever. and so I'm just waiting on it to blow up. And, you know, hopefully we're on the front edge of that and doing some really cool stuff.

Brian: And I think that the thing to point out there, when you're saying, you agree with me and this other person, I actually do too, my point was it in the, now. I don't think there's going to be a wave of people ordering, their mattresses just from voice tech, um, or from listening to Spotify. But I do think that marketers, and particularly advertisers have to get ahead of this because we saw well, especially like when the internet came and you took everything that was traditional in print and you tried to make it into an internet medium, it didn't work.

And then you took everything that was desktop focus and push it into a mobile. And that didn't work as well. The advertisers who get ahead and understand how to buy, how to measure, how to create experiences that match the moment they're going to get ahead.

So if I'm a marketer, if I'm advertising, I want to get ahead of this and put some budget aside, but I don't take all my Superbowl budget and then put it into voice.

Kelly: So, speaking of budget, let's talk about pricing. so what do we need to know about, you know, the cost of buying ads across streaming radio podcasts.

Calvin: Well, I think it definitely depends on, you know, stuff like the ad spot duration, obviously the timing, the location, the targeting. But in past media buys, we actually seen around an $8 to $16 CPM for traditional broadcast radio. Streaming audio can come in a little bit cheaper, and we've seen prices range from eight to $12 for, for Pandora a, we actually seen some CPMs as low as $5 for Spotify, but it can actually go as high as $30.

So again. It goes back to how custom, and you know how granular you want your targeting, but probably the most expensive - what we've seen so far in our experience as podcast ads, so like I mentioned before, brands are purchasing these native ad spots right directly by the hose towards this really captive target audience.

We've seen CPMs for those range about 18 to $25, so a little bit higher than those um, digital streaming ads.  But ultimately, with any farm advertising and the more granular the targeting, the more custom the ad ultimately the more expensive the rate.

Brian: Kelly, I know that you can speak to this probably better than the me, but I know that some of the challenges we've had with clients adopting this, this is not just the CPMs, which can be high and be a little bit over the place, but when you're buying directly from the platforms, the minimums can be really, really high. And it is, it is a barrier to test.

Kelly: Spotify, if you're buying directly from them, they have about a $25,000 minimum. Um, which you know, can be hefty, especially if you're debating whether to put $25,000 into. Streaming radio versus search or social or another platform,

Calvin: Especially because it's a brand new platform to, you don't really know as much.

It's kind of putting a lot more budget than you're, I guess, comfortable with, with a tried and true platform. Like search for instance.

Kelly: Exactly. But they do have a self serve platform, Spotify ad studio, which campaigns can start at around 250, so a lot more affordable. Um, and then if you're looking more at Pandora and doing a direct buy, I think.

Last, I heard from them. Campaigns need to start around $1,500.

Brian: So. Like I said, you know, you guys have a little bit more insights into budgets and some of these things, but one of the things we haven't talked about, and it makes me think the budgets can't be that, um, high is really, uh, satellite radio and satellite radio tends to have some of the worst commercials I've ever heard.

And so I wonder, like, how do they afford. And you know, how does, how does some of these, how some of these brands afford satellite radio? Well, on a national buy, at least, I'm assuming it's a national buy, I'm not as familiar with the platforms versus it cost so much just to get started in Spotify.

Is it that satellite radio is not even in the consideration set when we think audio for the most part, or is it just too niche or does anybody have any thoughts on that? Or am I the only person listen to satellite radio in this room?

Jay: I definitely don't.

Kelly: I only do when I'm driving my husband's car. No, I mean, I definitely think it should be in the consideration set. I would say I would compare it more to like local radio, like traditional broadcast radio. Um, but they are typically more national buys. So we've looked into it for some clients before, but if we're trying to reach, you know, just a certain market, it doesn't necessarily make sense.

Calvin: It's harder to target as well when you talk about like a radio in that sense, it boils down to what your KPIs are Traditionally for satellite radio, I mean, you're really applying reach there, whereas for digital you can bring in better targeting and tracking.

Kelly: Awesome. Well, I do want to take a minute to talk about the future of audio. So we've talked a little bit about, uh, flash briefings and, you know, dabbled in some of those things. So how do y'all think that things like voice assistants, smart speakers. Connected devices, connected cars are going to help further evolve audio advertising.

Brian: So this is one of my favorite subjects. I can get really excited about this. I think the voice will become ubiquitous. I think that when we talked about just a reference, traditional or traditional digital for a second, um, when, as Calvin was mentioning. You know, you had this cookie-based world and that cookie-based world allows you to measure certain things.

I think that where things will end up is we will end up in this AND world is click, swipe, type AND talk. And we will move from cookies to more biometrics. And that biometric may be our voice. And if when voice is Ubiquitous. Voice tech is ubiquitous rather, and when things that are more biometric related are really our identity.

That's really the game changer in the future because I go from talking to my refrigerator to talking to Alexa, to getting in my car, talking to my car. Going into, say a place like a, some retail store, interacting with my shopping cart, potentially asking, Hey, what aisle are, you know, eight and a half by 11 frames.

And my cart talks back to me. Um, and it knows it's me. It doesn't know that it's somebody else. And I think that we're about to enter a world where it is not only these little segments where there's Apple ecosystem and the Google ecosystem, there's about to be a voice ecosystem that connects all of it.

It's going to be really, really exciting and cool. Um, it's also going a little bit scary because once biometrics tend to be the marker, um, then we're just tracked all the time, but we've shown over, over and over again that we're willing to trade privacy for convenience.

Kelly: It's the road to truly personalized advertising.

Jay: I agree. but on the other hand, yeah, I think it will be ecosystem based, and I'm actually stealing this from Rashidi, who was on an earlier episode of the podcast.  But it'll be ecosystem in the sense that you won't have to. Ever really open an app if you don't want to, there'll be built into your voice assistant so you just, like, if I have an iPhone, and I won't say it because I don't want her to activate, but I can say hello. Uh, Siri, uh, and you know, order me food from Chick-fil-A, and she'll know my most recent order and I don't even have to click on anything. I don't have to open the app. It's just built into Siri.

Or Alexa or Google assistant, or Cortana if they decided to open her back up to be consumer facing. but yeah, so I think it definitely is ecosystem based going forward. The question is who wins? Or does anybody have to win? because right now you have your big three and. More and more like car manufacturers are choosing one to put into their upcoming cars.

And so it becomes, does that influence the car you buy because it has Google assistant versus Alexa versus car play? Or do we live in an altruistic future where they cooperate and you can switch between them pretty effortlessly and one can enable the other, and I can tell Siri too do X, Y, Z from Alexa.

And that can happen. So we'll see what happens. But I definitely think ecosystem, future.

Brian: Well, I can't remember if you were the one that forwarded this, but you know, Amazon is leading that open sourcing to share. But actually, right now, and I know we have to be careful because our, all our voice assistants start going off, but you can go, Hey, Siri.

Okay Google and it will open up your Google or you can tell it, you can train it to so they can interact. So I think they are getting at that is probably going to be hard for one of them to win all of it. So they've probably have to find a way to play together, even if they hate doing it.

Jay: I will say to that point, Apple has gotten a lot better about opening up a little bit.

I know Spotify put a lot of pressure on them because you couldn't open Spotify by talking to Siri and now you can. So It'll be interesting to see like how open they get versus like who is the most open basically, and who really just wants this technology to be out in the world, um, for people.

And that's just putting people above maybe the bottom line sometimes.

Kelly: If any of them will start responding with paid responses from brands. I know there's been a lot of pushback on that, or hesitancy to adopt it. As an advertiser, I want it, but not as the consumer. So

Brian: Kelly, this, and I'd love for you to talk about that a little bit more, to be honest, because I think that from a Google perspective, they're not here to sell Google products. They're here to sell advertising. And the question is whether they're selling advertising over the emerging audio landscape or whether they're using that data to sell it in other places, whether that's display, search, TV, all the other things that they're getting their hands in.

Do you have a thought or opinion on that?

Kelly: Well, currently, and for the foreseeable future, as I see now. If they don't want to piss people off, it's using the data. I think there'll be a really big backlash if, you know, you're asking Siri or Alexa, where's the nearest gas station?

And you don't get the nearest gas station, but you get the one that paid the most for that impression. So, um. Yeah. At least right now, within a search result, at least you can see these are the paid results, even though Google tries to change it and make it a little bit more hidden lately.

That's just my thought.

Jay: If you take that as an example, I think the, in an ideal world, you can get in your car, ask your voice assistant where the closest gas station is, and if you have Google assistant or Siri or, whatever your, uh, the voice assistant built into your car is, will route you there.

And you know, even give you an update on this is how much it costs per gallon based on the gas that you put in your car. Something like that. That's incredibly useful. You get in, you ask a question, you get in the car, you go to. Where are you going? You get information about it that's going to help you out and make a decision.

Brian: But I do think that that does bring in a natural advertising opportunity. So for example, take that use case, Hey, where's the nearest gas station? It's right here, by the way. Did you know they have a Coca-Cola on sale for 59 cents? That's where I think that. That advertising could be useful because maybe you're thinking, I'm not even going to go in and I'm gonna swipe my credit card, but then you find out that there's something on sale that might be beneficial because of your search history.

They know you have an affinity for Coca Cola or something, or you're going to the movies and you're like, Hey, what time does Uh, you know, there's movie play and there like at four o'clock. Oh, by the way, do you want to go ahead and take advantage of the special for popcorn and soda? It's $3. If you order with voice before you get there. And you're like, yes, I do.

So I think that there can be some natural advertising, I'm sure we'll botch it as advertisers and platforms before we get there. But yeah,

Kelly: I mean, there could also be, which this would be pretty cool too if you're asking, you know, where's the nearest coffee shop? And the answer is, Oh, there's a Starbucks 1.3 miles away, but in two miles there's a caribou coffee.

And if you go there and tell them that Siri sent you, you get 15% off. 

Calvin: So kind of still providing the answer, but like an upsell.

Brian: But that's what Google does now, right? I think it's less likely for the Amazons and Apples because they just, they're more interested in their own business versus selling ads.

Although they do sell ads too. I also think from a future standpoint, what's going to be interesting is how the consumer behavior changes because you know, you just saw with Apple's new OS update, you can do more with voice on your computer and we're going to have a generation that probably ends up being more voice first.

We, because we've had a lifetime of being trained, are probably going to feel more comfortable doing some things, you know, clicking, swiping, typing. But there's going to be an entire generation that just expects to be able to talk to things. And there's gonna be a little bit of a divide and it's gonna be interesting to see how that, how that shifts.

It's gonna make it harder for marketers in a way, but it's also gonna make it interesting.

Jay: And I wonder, because I remember very vividly being in elementary and middle school and taking a, it was called micro type three and it was classes to teach you how to type without looking down and you had to go through this course.

So I wonder, you know, if more educational organizations and schools start incorporating these voice assistants, um. With younger and younger students. Um, I'll be interested to see how that goes going forward. Cause I know if we look at the university levels, St Louis university was one of the first universities to put Alexa or Amazon echo devices in every dorm room on campus.

It'll be curious to see if that trickles down at all. and whether or not kids are exposed to these voice assistants earlier and earlier in the classroom.

Kelly: Maybe one day there will be classes for not, not typing, but speaking. Yeah. To your devices.

Brian: I wouldn't be surprised. The one thing that I think the one challenge is all the major players in voice have to, um, to really solve before it can really take it to the next level is discovery.

I think that is the hardest thing. It is really hard to discover things via voice. You know, if you go to Google and you type in. Something. You can see a list of results if you're voice only it's really hard, and to your point, like maybe they tell you, here's a Starbucks, here's a caribou, but there's a certain point where it's overwhelming just to listen to it if you can't see it or have some permanence to it.

And so some of the use cases we're talking about get solved when you say is not really skill based or app based or you know, Google action basis, you know, it was just there, but some things are going to be bespoke. It's still gonna be, you know, I want this feature or I want this thing, and I don't know the answer to it.

There's smarter people than me, that're thinking about it. But I think the discovery piece is something you'd have to solve and that actually could change the trajectory of voice a lot and how we interact with it depending on how they solve for that.


Jay: Yeah, for sure. I'm to that point, Google, probably in the last month or two.

I'll take a step back. It's really hard to find podcasts if you're searching with your voice. You'll normally just get the most recent episode, but you can't search through a catalog of a podcast that has, you know, 50, 100, 200 plus episodes. Um, so Google actually just released, or there are.

Releasing soon a functionality where you can search for a podcast, by content or title or whatever the case may be. That's not 100% rolled out, but I mean that, that will be a step towards discovery as it relates specifically to podcasts. But I think that opens the door for people to start thinking about how can we allow people to search for things with their voice, especially if they don't have a screen.

Brian: And that actually is a good transition to how that affects advertising. Because what I've seen them try to do to solve for some of this is if you ask certain things, like if you ask Google assistant for directions, she'll  go ahead and say, Hey, I'm going to go ahead and send that to your phone. Or if I am listening to a podcast or something like that, I may get an email from Spotify or I may get an email from Apple. you're listening to this. You may like that. I think that's where advertising is probably going to really have more measurable pieces within voice at first because people are going to be buying your interest and likes and behaviors, and then you'll probably be tagged onto an email or to some type of, uh, a notification on your phone based on that. But that's an easy use case to activate on audio, but also to measure.

Kelly: Well. Thank you. And on that last note on measurement, and one of our next episodes is actually going to be focusing on the future of measurement and how that's evolved with the convergence of digital and traditional.

So thank you guys for joining me today.

Jay: Happy to be here.

Calvin: Thank you.

Brian: Thank you, Kelly

Kelly: Great. Well, thank you all for tuning in, and if you have any questions about anything or comments or feedback or recommendations on future content that we should cover, please email us at Paid Media Coffee at and as always, please like rate and subscribe to the podcast.

Posted by Paid Media Coffee on November 8, 2019


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