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Native audio advertising is next big thing for brands, says Saavn

As Saavn’s ad inventory grows 25 per cent each quarter, brands are turning on the music to reach an engaged and aspirational youth

Panel Discussion at MMA- L to R- Ravi Sharma, Senior Vice President and Head of Sales at Saavn, Neha Dhupia and Rohit Pillai, Bira 91’s Head of Partnerships

Streaming service for music and audio entertainment Saavn has claimed 25 per cent growth in its ad inventory each quarter as brands are turning on the music to reach an engaged and aspirational youth.

“Saavn is leading an industry-wide focus in the true power of headphones as a destination for brands. As India becomes a more mobile dense market every day, we’re seeing a tangible increase in the percentage of digital ad spends reserved for mobile audio and marketers’ desire to curate bespoke experiences for our listeners. For several years, we’ve primed our platform, data capabilities and user engagement strategies in order to support the demand with real results,” said Ravi Sharma, Senior Vice-President and Head of Sales at Saavn.

Sharma was speaking at a panel discussion titled “The Next Frontier: How Advertisers are Tapping Into the Potential of Mobile Audio” at recently held Mobile Marketing Association (MMA) India Forum. The panel included Bira 91’s Head of Partnerships, Rohit Pillai, and Bollywood actor Neha Dhupia.

The discussion centred around the differentiation of audio in a cluttered visual advertising market. “India has long used visual media when it comes to changing consumer behaviour patterns. But while visual forms can have a strong impact, music is able to reach consumers on a deeply primal level. Native audio advertising has been able to positively change audience mindsets, which other brand communication channels have not been able to provide,” highlighted the panel.

According to Saavn, “Unlike major social and video services, native audio advertising on Saavn delivers brand messages in an exclusively positive and brand safe environment. Marketers can further engage consumers at a point of passion, and music is a highly personal experience for people. Given mobile audio’s role as a companion medium during activities such as driving, at the gym, at work, etc., brands can also tap ultra-mobile reach that extends beyond what is possible with video, print and out-of-home media.”

According to a recent Google Consumer Report for India, 76 per cent of all mobile engagement for ages 25-44 is dedicated to music. Additionally, in a country where nearly 70 per cent of the population is less than 30 years of age, many marketers view music as the means to engage with the youth.

Pillai, who has spearheaded campaigns for Bira 91 with Saavn, talked about the importance of reaching youth markets and millennials -- who are keenly aware -- with quality content and intention. “For us, it was crucial to identify a partner willing to discover and develop fresh content. We aim to work with [Saavn] to curate and create content that does not disrupt the consumer experience, rather enhances it.”

In late 2016, Saavn brought programmatic audio advertising to India through which the ad-buying process has become automated and efficient. It condenses targeting, optimisation and reporting of audio ad inventory into a few simple steps, so that brands can easily access and communicate with Saavn’s listeners. Saavn has since been able to on-board global brands such as Hewlett-Packard, Lufthansa, Google and Fossil through its programmatic audio channel.

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