Readers of our blog post yesterday may recall a couple of “old school” experiments Netflix appears to be running.
First, they are test-driving a “linear TV” lineup in France to determine if a curated programming lineup might generate more viewing as well as quicker consumer decisions to determine what to watch.
Their other playground is “ambient TV” – Netflix shows and programs that can be enjoyed by simply listening to their audio in the background while being engaged in other activities.
And earlier this week, Social Media Today's Andrew Hutchinson revealed that YouTube is stepping head-first into audio commercials.
You read that correctly.
Their newest innovation is audio ads that simply use a static graphic for the entire duration of the voice over. And as you might imagine, they're not especially creative or compelling.
And YouTube is trumpeting their effectiveness, almost as if they've recently discovered the revolutionary power and impact of audio ads:
“To help you tailor your media and creative approach to the different ways consumers are engaging with YouTube, we're introducing audio ads, our first ad format designed to connect your brand with audiences in engaged and ambient listening on YouTube. Audio ads, currently in beta, help you efficiently expand reach and grow brand awareness with audio-based creative and the same measurement, audience and brand safety features as your video campaigns.”
With just audio? Holy Marconi!
YouTube Music says its testing of these “beta ads” showed that for more than three in four cases, these ads “drove a significant lift in brand awareness.” Once again, this idea that “ambient content” – in the background – can be effective is apparently a revelation making its way through tech companies like Netflix and YouTube.
Somewhere, Erica Farber is smiling – or grimacing.
It gets better. YouTube promises a feature called dynamic music lineups for marketers – the ability to reach audiences based on their music genre preferences – like Pop Hits, Hip-Hop, or Rock.
Hmm…where have I heard that before?
If all of this has the ring of familiarity, the coincidence is intended. While the quality of radio ads often leaves much to be desired – not to mention spot loads that are bloated – audio ads have proved their effectiveness.
For nearly a century.
And live reads from trusted personalities (it's time radio started branding them as “influencers”) set radio apart from most other media (podcasts excepted).
It is fascinating to see how a digital powerhouse like YouTube positions radio's core marketing assets. It provides broadcast radio sales teams with some great fodder.
Maybe the audio ad is back.
Or maybe it never went away.