Treat Online Audio Like Its Rivals

2015 05 08   Peter Feinstein   Online vs Offline Media    

The solution to establishing the value of digital audio, if you want to lump it all into one platform (which it’s not), is to measure actual listener response against the results a commercial has experienced on broadcast or even satellite radio. Short of that, there is no real value measurement.

At my agency, we use response rates to determine all our cash buying in audio – and hold everyone to the same standard. When we’re confronted with an audio channel that’s overly proud of its platform, we very quickly level that interaction down to requiring its level of performance to match what we experience in broadcast radio with the identical ad.

Apples to apples is a business approach that always works. Any other key performance indicator (KPI) really is outlet-oriented and irrelevant to the actual purchase of media. If it works, we buy it. If we don’t know whether it works, we test it and share the metrics so that the outlet knows where it stands.

Presently digital audio’s metrics warrant a spend of about a $0.40 CPM. Sure, I know that sounds absurd; but when you can extend a proven buying methodology to the platform, and the platform accepts it as valid, they have to accept the buying threshold we set. Most don’t, and so we don’t spend with them. Those that do have seen a constant stream of money coming from us week after week, month after month, year after year … for over 15 years now.