Social Distancing With Friends: Alexis van de Wyer

The digital audio audience grew 11% between the second half of February and the second half of March, according to data from audio ad platform AdsWizz. But that new listening activity is not evenly distributed.

This week on AdExchanger Talks, AdsWizz CEO Alexis van de Wyer digs into the trends. He says news and science content are surging in downloads, while others have struggled, such as music and, of course, sports. Listening via smart speakers has spiked more than 30%, primarily in the morning when people are hungry for the latest information on COVID-19 and the world’s response.

And no surprise: Advertiser demand is down in audio, as it is everywhere.

“The first impact with coronavirus was to see a drop in advertising,” van de Wyer says. “I think everybody’s seeing it. What we see now, that second phase, is we see new advertising coming in. We see new budgets, we see existing budgets being reconfigured.”

There has been a modest uptick in verticals such as health care, financial services and education. Meanwhile performance campaigns have given way to brand awareness and cause-based advertising.

And van de Wyer anticipates COVID-19 will bring a speedier shift away from insertion orders, which are still very popular in Europe in particular, toward more automated ways of buying.

“A lot of agencies are trying to accelerate the shift to programmatic,” he said. “I think we’re going to see some of the behavioral changes continue after the crisis is over.”

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