A Wide Path For Radio’s Programmatic Growth


The percentage of ad buyers that purchase radio and digital audio advertising with programmatic technology will nearly triple in the next 12 months, according to a new WideOrbit survey of radio industry and media professionals.

Ad campaigns purchased with programmatic will also increase, with 100% of ad buyers saying that their programmatic spending on audio advertising will either increase or stay the same in the next 12 months.

These results are taken from a survey of nearly 9,000 radio industry professionals and media buyers that was fielded earlier this year by WideOrbit, a media industry technology platform for connecting audiences and ads regardless of locale.

The final report, The Future of Programmatic Radio Advertising, discusses attitudes towards programmatic by radio and digital audio ad buyers and sellers. The respondents were media buyers and sales, traffic, IT and general business executives from radio stations and groups across the U.S.

Among the report’s highlights:

  • The future of programmatic audio advertising is bright. Nearly two-thirds of radio industry respondents and almost 90% of ad buyers plan to transact with programmatic platforms within the next 12 months.
  • Radio advertising buyers and sellers have different reasons for adopting programmatic. Radio stations and groups are looking to programmatic advertising for additional revenue, inventory protection and workflow automation, while ad buyers favor features that can make campaigns more efficient or effective.
  • Ad buyers are moving faster than radio stations and groups to embrace cross-media campaigns. Most buyers no longer differentiate between traditional and digital audio campaigns, and nearly three-quarters think it’s important to buy these formats together. A smaller proportion of ad sellers say it’s important to package linear and digital audio together.

WideOrbit CMO Mickey Wilson said, “Our survey showed that audio ad buyers want to make campaigns more efficient and simpler to manage across media. Programmatic advertising solves both of these problems, which explains why almost all buyers plan to make greater use of the programmatic sales channel in the near future. On the other side of the transaction, the interests of buyers and sellers are complementary, but not completely aligned. The radio industry is more excited about programmatic’s impact on process automation and inventory control while the buyers’ priorities are greater efficiency and finer targeting.

Based on this survey, Wilson is optimistic that programmatic’s importance will grow in radio and digital audio. He said, “As more audio inventory becomes available through programmatic platforms and digital and linear inventory are more commonly packaged together, we expect to see greater portions of ad budgets shift to radio because of its unmatched engagement and household penetration.”

The Future of Programmatic Radio Advertising is available as a free download at http://www2.wideorbit.com/future-of-programmatic-radio.