WideOrbit, the ad management platform used by roughly half of broadcast radio stations in the U.S., has partnered with Tru Optik, a data and measurement company focused on connected TV, streaming audio and gaming. WideOrbit’s technology for streaming audio, podcasting and programmatic ad sales is where it intends to tap into Tru Optik’s dataset to bring enhanced audience targeting to its digital audio clients.
Advertisers are increasingly demanding advanced targeting for streaming audio, especially as podcasting become a regular habit for a growing number of Americans. According to Infinite Dial 2020 from Edison Research and Triton Digital, 37% of Americans, or roughly 104 million, listen to podcasts monthly. (These numbers will be updated March 11 when Edison and Triton present their 2021 findings.)
Integrating the Tru Optik Data Marketplace into WideOrbit’s WO Traffic content and revenue management platform and WideOrbit’s Digital Suite will help it significantly expand its clients’ advanced audio targeting capabilities, the companies said in a press release.
“Streaming audio advertisers are looking for audiences, ease of transaction and data. Buyers today are increasingly looking for specific audience segments,” said John Morris, VP, Digital Suite at WideOrbit. “Our partnership with Tru Optik allows us to make that audience data actionable through both programmatic and our publisher’s own direct-sold audio inventory.”
In an interview with Beet.TV, Morris said the level of attention being paid to audio now is among the highest he’s seen in his 20 years in radio. “Audio is driving significant revenue for a lot of our broadcast clients, who now have repurposed or turned their over-the-air audio products digital, and are doing fantastic jobs monetizing that inventory both through their direct-sold efforts and also programmatic efforts.”
Michelle Swanston, Chief Client Officer for Tru Optik, calls at-home audio streaming “the new drive time radio and a key component of the connected home. This integration will enable WideOrbit clients to reach their target audiences across smart speakers and other connected devices,” she added.
Last October Tru Optik was acquired by TransUnion, the third largest credit reporting agency and one of the largest providers of data. At the core of Tru Optik’s business is a database of 80 million U.S. households that enables household-level identity, targeting and measurement across connected TVs, smart speakers, gaming consoles and other connected devices.
The alliance is the latest audio integration for Tru Optik, which in January announced a deal with digital audio ad network Targetspot to integrate Tru Optik’s data management platform into its digital audio advertising system, bringing advanced audience targeting to Targetspot clients.
Audio has been a fast growing channel for Tru Optik, which also provides ad targeting data to Triton Digital for digital audio listening in the home, where a significant portion of streaming listening takes place. As part of its household graph, Tru Optik can identify what other devices are present in the household and can layer on additional audience targeting data about individuals in the household from third party providers. The data helps ensure the right ads are being delivered to the right household.