The endless opportunities of streaming media

“Creative opportunities are endless!” says Chris Freel when asked about the opportunities for marketers on streaming platforms which range from a more engaged and younger audience through to better targeted and integrated campaigns.

Freel, Pandora's Commercial Director for Australia, believes streaming media offers a far more engaging and personal experience than broadcast, “listening to a streaming service is very different to listening to traditional radio.” He says, “on streaming services listeners are listening to the music and content that they have chosen. They are deeply engaged and connected to this which shows in the amount of time they spend listening.”

That deep engagement extends to how long subscribers spend upon the services with subscribers spending just over two hours a day online. “The vast majority of listening is on mobile devices with headphones in so they can listen wherever they are,” observes Freel. “This means that they are listening throughout the day whereas radio listening is very heavily skewed to use in car on the drive to and from work.”

For marketers this means a far more focused product aimed at a younger demographic, Freel believes. “They have the ability to target and hyper target audiences. All Pandora users are logged in which offers advertisers the means to target real people based on their postcode, age and gender.”

“If looking to target 18-39 year old females in Sydney, streaming can accurately target those,” he explains. “Taking it a step further streaming services can tap into user behaviours, their mood and musical preferences through the vast amount of data captured everyday within the platform.”

Chris Freel, Commercial Director, Pandora Australia

“Brands can tap into this very loyal and engaged audience to drive their business results and many of them are already seeing the rewards,” he states. “Streaming allows personalization at scale in a brand safe environment and with the right creative messaging and approach brands have a very unique opportunity to talk to listeners in the most intimate and engaging of environments. This is exceptionally powerful when done well but it is important to get the creative right.”

Scarcity on the online platforms changes how creatives should approach the medium, Freel believes. “The maximum ad load per hour on streaming services is 4 minutes, compared the 13-15 minutes in some commercial radio environments. This means that marketers have the ability to be heard in an uncluttered environment, they don’t have to shout and do not need the same levels of frequency for listeners to be able to remember their message and take action.”

His advice to marketers using the service is simple, “advertising within a digital platform allows marketers to drive an immediate call to action. Listeners have the ability to click through to a marketers site in one easy step. With so many listeners on mobile devices the ability to target them while on the go – maybe even passing an advertisers store or showroom, or while they are out running – also allows advertisers to get a listener to take immediate action and be more relevant with their messaging.”

Taking it a step further streaming services can tap into user behaviours, their mood and musical preferences through the vast amount of data captured every day within the platform.

- Chris Freel

Integrating campaigns with more traditional forms of media can improve results, Freel observes. “We always suggest complementing audio advertising with a digital component as we’ve seen this results in higher results and engagement,” he says. “On top of this advertisers can also compliment their existing radio buys to extend reach through streaming and extend targeting beyond drive time periods.”

“A lot of this depends on what they are seeking to achieve, if it is purely reach then it makes sense to use both radio and streaming channels with audio messaging as there is a growing portion of Australians that listen to one or the other. Also when we look at our unique audience streaming is much younger falling more into 18-45 bracket where radio is very dominant in the 50+ audience.”

“I think a lot of advertisers are thinking about how they can extend their radio buys into streaming and on the flip side streaming can also inform how they buy radio,” Freel continues. “We have seen effective testing used by Holden in one of their recent campaigns where different creative messages were tested across streaming platforms, using insights to drive their radio buy. We have also seen streaming and outdoor working well together through Pandora’s current US marketing campaign which used artist trending data to inform their use of outdoor placements.”

For the established channels, there's still plenty of opportunity, he says. “If I were a radio company I would be thinking hard about how I innovate outside of the traditional broadcast channel. We have seen digital have a big impact on the print industry, the TV industry and now radio is coming under the microscope.”

“The battle for in car, voice technology and consumer electronic devices is also changing the game so audio is a very interesting space to be in right now,” he observes. “When it comes to planning advertising spend, advertisers need to attract audiences and will move with them – just look at Facebook and Google's growth. The second part, which is sometimes substituted for reach, is how they then drive engagement, action and cut through with those audiences and the opportunity to do this with streaming is huge.

Freel's advice for marketers looking at their first steps in steaming media is to experiment, “don’t be afraid to test and dip your toe in first. With any new channel it is important for brands to build up the trust in that environment. Once in we find most brands quickly see the benefits.

“Streaming is now mainstream and is the future. The shifts we are seeing are not set to slow. Consumers want always on personalized content and we live in an on demand world. Streaming offers consumers choice, immediacy and reward.”