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Laurie Sullivan, MediaPost Monday, Jun 19, 2017 8:21 AM EST

Sizmek, Triton To Serve Digital Audio Ads, But Tracking Still Tricky

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Through a partnership with Triton Digital, digital audio ads are served through Sizmek's ad server and campaign management system, as well as through its programmatic StrikeAd demand-side platform (DSP).

The offering provides marketers with the opportunity not only to reach valuable audiences through audio, but gain insights on campaign activity from real-time reporting features.

The capability supports digital audio ads served through devices such as television, WiFi speakers, gaming consoles across desktop and mobile. It's not yet available to run audio ads through Amazon Echo, Google Home and other home hub type devices because they do not accept third-party data, through voice-operated devices continue to become prominent, according to Gregg Rogers, global product marketing manager, at Sizmek.

Rogers said personalizing the digital audio ad will become the next step for Sizmek. "That's where we would like to go," he said. "We are not there yet, but digital audio can be served with visual companion ads."

It's not clear of the extent of the platform's data collection capability for reuse. The platform collects data, but a key barrier for advertisers has been measurement and attribution in digital audio, particularly tracking what happens after the person hears an ad. "You can’t put a cookie in an audio file, which makes retargeting tricky," Rogers said.

Rogers points to research from Accustream showing a 10 times increase in the last seven years that leads to billions of cumulative incremental listening time for digital audio.

While digital audio is fairly new, he said, it's growing significantly in advertising dollars. "It's not just video visual," he said. "There are so many ways to reach consumers."

Indeed, digital audio has experienced so much growth in the past year that the category recently made its debut in the industry survey conducted by PwC and sponsored by the Interactive Advertising Bureau.

The IAB report, published in April 2017, estimated $1.1 billion in audio advertising revenue in 2016 for desktop and mobile.

Rogers believes the advertising industry needs tools that provide marketers with the ability to reach valuable audiences, optimize campaigns and measure the impact of audio ads.