Kantar is expanding its entertainment panel services to cover consumer behaviour and attitudes to podcasts for the first time, a development that has the potential to help boost programmatic audio spending.

The Great British Podcast Tracker is a longitudinal service measuring podcast behaviour in Britain which aims to deliver a continuous, representative, single source of insight into this fast-growing medium.

The new service, claimed James Foti, consumer insight director at Kantar, will “give a clear picture of who podcast listeners are, what other media they engage with and even where they last shopped”.

The ability to measure engagement with other media will be important factor in driving the take-up of programmatic audio, according to Alex McGibbon, Vice President, Client Solutions at GroupM’s programmatic business Xaxis.

While consumers have enthusiastically embraced digital audio – listening to an average of 17.8 hours per week, according to figures from IFPI Global’s Music Consumer Insight Report – advertisers have been slower to tap its potential.

A recent study by Xaxis and IAB Europe found that brands evidently appreciate that audio complements the media mix (63%), reaches specific audiences (59%) and raises brand awareness (58%).

But two significant barriers to increased investment remain, including a lack of understanding of its impact on total revenue (49%) and the perceived low availability of technology (44%).

To counter these perceptions, McGibbon, speaking at a recent European conference, provided the example of a campaign run by Xaxis on behalf of Volvo to promote the carmaker’s V60 model. (For more, read WARC’s report: Programmatic audio: Using sound to create emotion and drive action.)

This saw in-market consumers targeted with a special financial offer, delivering personalised messages based on audience segments. It resulted in a million impressions over a two-week period, delivering an estimated 94% lead through rate (LTR).

And, crucially, Volvo was able to use data insights from the campaign to optimise other channels and better understand media consumption between screens, something McGibbon argued is “key” to programmatic media.

“It fuels other channels. Data that was not available on traditional radio is now there to use in other areas, [like] display, video, search and social. Any other programmatic channel can benefit from the data, because we now capture insights that we weren’t able to previously.”

Sourced from Kantar; additional content by WARC staff