How do you tell the difference between audio integration and sponsorship? According to Wade Kingsley, Founder and CEO of The Ideas Business, sponsorship agreements and partnerships are prolific in the audio world, but true integrations are harder to come by. A genuine integration is definable by asking whether the content would exist if the brand was not part of it.

Speaking at the Mumbrella Audioland conference (Sydney, May 2019), Kingsley said: “Have a think about that for a second. If the brand was not there, you would not hear it. And that is integration. That is the test you can apply.”

While audio integrations are currently dominated by broadcast radio, voice-activated speakers and podcasts are fast becoming a playground for this type of brand activity. The reason for this is heavy investment from publishers, who are looking to capitalise on these new platforms. Brands looking to get involved are being met with open arms.

That said, Kingsley was quick to stress integration isn’t for everyone. “Most brands can, but not all of them because the audio publisher obviously has their own agenda. They want to increase their audience, either through reach or engagement and they want to entertain. That does not mean that every brand naturally fits into that space. Not every power tool company or smoke detector installer gets to have integration. You cannot walk up and demand integration just because you have got a fistful of dollars,” he said.