Global set out its plan to combine its outdoor assets with its radio and audio portfolio last week; speaking exclusively to WARC, Ollie Deane, Global’s director of commercial digital, argues that both channels dovetail in their ability to engage active consumers.

“Audio and OOH, by their nature, are consumed while you are out-and-about commuting, and doing a whole host of other things – shopping, meeting friends,” he says. (For more, read WARC’s report: Global sets out its plans to combine audio and OOH media.)

“Both media channels provide advertisers with the opportunity to contextually be a part of a variety of moments. The idea is that if you’re using both channels, you can make those moments matter more,” he explains.

“From serving an audio ad on podcasts that makes someone laugh out loud on their commute, through to something that catches their eye later on as they’re walking past a particular digital screen – we feel that bringing the two of them together will deliver that outcome.”

The way Global intends to achieve that is via DAX (Digital Audio Exchange, now being rebranded as Digital Advertising Exchange), the programmatic ad platform which Global launched in 2014 to enable brands to target online radio audiences.

From next month, DAX will begin selling digital out-of-home (DOOH) media from 964 sites across the UK on its platform, including in-demand larger 48- and 96-sheet formats. It has also secured the supply of inventory from third-party OOH media owners Admedia, Elonex and All City Media Solutions – with further providers expected to follow in the coming months.

Outdoor inventory will be made available via a quartet of demand-side platform (DSP) launch partners (The Trade Desk, Vistar Media, Mediamath and Hivestack), and Global claims that ads can be bought and served on DOOH screens in “less than an hour”.

And in a further departure from traditional OOH media trading, brands will be able to buy audiences based on data from Route, the UK’s outdoor media measurement body, rather than more traditional methods such as panel rates.

Deane admits the media owner will face a challenge to overcome entrenched planning and buying habits, but he points to the growth of its digital audio business as evidence that advertisers can be persuaded to change tack.

“Programmatic audio is a thing that most clients are comfortable with and do now, but when we originally launched, I remember the challenge we had with buyers back then,” he recalls.

“People were saying, ‘how am I going to measure it when you can’t click on an audio ad?’ There’s a process to go through to educate them on why the format is suited to a programmatic buy. We will go on another journey with outdoor.”.

Sourced from WARC