Hakuhodo DY Media Partners (hereon referred to as Hakuhodo) has formed a partnership with Instreamatic, a San Francisco-based voice technology platform, to offer voice advertising services in Japan.
Hakuhodo will use the platform to create interactive voice advertising for clients that will then run on premium audio publishers. Instreamatic claims to use AI technology to enable “dialogues with consumers”.
The company explains that a typical voice ad it would deliver on a music streaming app or other audio media asks listeners questions to gauge their interest in what is being offered and mimics communication “with a live person”. The software uses data from conversations to refine its ability to interact.
According to Instreamatic, Hakuhodo will use Instreamatic’s metrics system to assess engagement and make changes to campaigns as needed once they have launched.
In a statement, Hideyuki Ooki, general manager of Hakuhodo’s radio division, said the technology brings an “unprecedented new level of measurability to audio advertising, along with a unique ad experience that enables brands to engage more meaningfully with audiences”.
Taking into account consumers’ limited attention spans and general lack of patience for interruptive advertising, interactive voice advertising appears a challenging proposition. Campaign asked Stas Tushinskiy, chief executive of Instreamatic, what prompts someone to engage with a voice ad.
Tushinskiy said: “The ad creative itself is design in such a way that it is intuitively clear to listeners that they can and should respond by voice—no education is required.”
He said voice-enabled ads consist of three components: a short teaser, the listener’s response, and an AI response that either ends the ad or provides additional information about the brand or offering.
Asked how an ad is deemed to have been successful or not, Tushinskiy said Instreamatic measures the share of users who responded to the ad out of the total number of users reached.
“The power of voice engagement is that unlike clicking or passive listening, a person first needs to acknowledge the message, think about it, and then respond verbally, which significantly drives ad recall and the likelihood of purchase,” he said. “With that being said, even responding ‘no interest’ is a good thing because it still means that a user heard a message and engaged with the ad.”
Tushinskiy said some advertisers on the platform have an engagement rate of more than 12% versus an average click-through rate of 0.7% on companion banners to audio advertising. “There are no accidental clicks in voice-enabled ads,” he said.
He cited a campaign for Mastercard’s debit card that ran on a Russian publisher. Out of 500,000 audio impressions, 14% interacted with the ad and 5% responded positively.
Tushinskiy did not specify which publishers Instreamatic and Hakuhodo would work with in Japan but said they will “integrate with the country’s top audio content providers”. Instreamatic said the partnership with Hakuhodo would spread the service to Asian markets beyond Japan, but did not specify which markets.
Although Japan is the world's second-biggest music market after the US, adoption of music streaming services remains relatively low, with around three quarters of music revenue reportedly still coming from physical sales.