Kelly Scott Madison



Find out which developments are going to tbe the ones to watch in the audio world. 

Recent developments are continuing to expand advertisers’ opportunities and approach to the audio space. Below we’ve highlighted the most important issues to watch in the coming months.

Mobile AM/FM capabilities

Nearly all of today’s smartphones have FM radio capabilities, but the FM chip to access the radio is not activated on two-thirds of devices, according to NPR. Samsung, Apple and LG are among the providers who have kept the switch off. While the National Association of Broadcasters has been pushing for this activation, the mobile industry claims that consumer’s gravitate toward streaming apps, thus the demand for radio just isn’t there. However, FM radio threatens digital streaming and downloading, which would inhibit revenue for the mobile world. Sprint however, was the first major exception to this. Starting in 2013, the carrier worked in partnership with Emmis Communications, a radio and publishing firm that created NextRadio. The deal means that select Sprint phones had the FM chip turned on and in turn, the carrier earns a portion of the revenue generated by ads that appear in the NextRadio app, according to the Boston Globe. AT&T and T-Mobile, two major players in the mobile landscape, have also begun to support FM capabilities, while the newest Android devices will come enabled with FM-chips on. Across the aisle, Apple continues to holdout on FM activation for iPhones. Nevertheless, the radio scope will only grow as more and more mobile carriers allow for FM radio capabilities through cell phone devices. 

Interactive audio on streaming

XAPP Media has introduced new interactive audio advertisements that allow listeners to verbally respond to messaging and take immediate action, such as downloading an app, making a phone call or visiting a website. While the typical mobile ad conversion rate sits at 0.05 percent, conversion rates for interactive ads run between 3.25 to 5.94 percent during fall 2015, according to XAPP Media. What’s more, voice recognition from engaged listeners is at 99.7 percent accuracy due to the system already anticipating specific phrases. Mack Avenue Records, a company typically promoting audio content with display and print ads, sought out this new technology to build awareness of its new jazz star with a sample track. The company saw a 3.24 percent engagement rate, about 30 times higher than...

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