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We all know that digital media providers like Google, Instagram or Facebook have been using vast amounts of data for a very long time to enrich their own advertising inventory and make targeting possible. They would lead us all to believe – and I would even go so far on purpose as to say – fool us all into believing that they have the exact information as to when and where e.g., women around the age of 50 from the Munich metropolitan area can be found online that are looking for a hairdresser right this very minute. In actual fact, they almost do have this information but only to a certain extent. Still, targeting functions optimally and advertising banners for salons, haircare products, etc. that appear fully automatically fall on particularly fertile ground. In the digital advertising business, it is no problem to have an apparently endless number of appropriate banners "on stock" or to produce them automatically and in real time and adapt them. Men and women, Bavarians and Bostonians, children and adults, etc. will always be presented with advertising banners customized to their particular searches and activities on social media.

This kind of broad diversification is of course not possible in the radio sector and applied to classic audio spots. But based on programmatic and data driven advertising, here, too, many different spots and even more individual parts amass if you want to be able to use the many different advertising options available, including regionalization.

For audio material to be able to be distributed and played out at precisely the right place and at the right time, it must first be correctly "filed and labeled" – because the process takes place electronically.

I do not mean that audio publishers have to find the material they need when the need it. On the contrary, a "robot" must be able immediately to identify which audio material is appropriate for what request/situation. I am talking about a state-of-the-art electronic content management system that is available around the clock and instantly and reliably identifies and delivers the required material. For example, the convertible spot from car maker XY on a sunny Saturday morning in the Munich metropolitan area just before the Oktoberfest that mentions the local car dealership YZ near Theresienwiese, the official site of the festival in Munich. Identification is made during the day using attributes like the product, weather, region, local sales partner, major event, etc.

A system capable of doing this is thus much more than the station's archive or repository. It is a comprehensive system that can be used to index audio material by key word, as well as catalog, manage, distribute and even produce audio material. And it's done electronically, in the cloud and sent to all broadcasters, provided e.g., several partners have joined forces and exchange material.

Auf diese Weise wäre es z.B. möglich, dass ein „eingefleischter“ Hörer eines Radiosenders aus Norddeutschland, der mit dem Auto auf bayerischen Straßen unterwegs ist, weiterhin seinem Lieblingssender – natürlich als Stream – lauschen kann und trotzdem mit den Verkehrsnachrichten eines bayerischen Partnersenders versorgt wird. Das Modell ist mit der richtigen Technologie und dem richtigen Content 1:1 für die Personalisierung von Audiostreams anwendbar. Dazu mehr in einem der nächsten Blogposts. 

But let me get back to production and the production sequence of advertising spots. If we assume that the number of audio spots produced is increasing dramatically thanks to programmatic then production time and costs should naturally still not explode.

Considerable time and costs on the other hand can be saved in that all of the people involved in the production are not gathered in one place.

The corona crisis has demonstrated how well online networking can function across the globe. Why shouldn't it work for the production of audio spots?

When the production workflow – managed from the same system – is outsourced to a network that people all over the world can contribute their "production piece" to at any hour of the day, the added advantage is that all descriptive data and attributes already exist and are saved.

If everything takes place in one and the same electronic system which entails the production, administration and data description, the error rate can be minimized. This system can also be opened up to advertising customers: as a portal they can upload spots to themselves, listen to, add appropriate attributes or data to or modify.

The advantage for audio publishers: less effort and the advertising customer's greater loyalty to the audio publisher's company because he's using the company's portal and tools.

From the perspective of advertising and business, there are many good reasons in favor of a cloud-based modern audio content management system that can be used by different people all over the world.

This opens up new avenues of monetization and reuse of content. Not just in advertising, but also in the editorial segment. 

And, last, but not least, this type of a content management system is naturally also capable of being applied to any other production a radio station makes.

Regardless of what type of editorial content and programming is to be produced: It can use the same system, namely, that based on an electronically supported workflow with technicians, presenters and journalists distributed around the world.

Content produced in this way can also be utilized on other channels: from partner stations, for podcasts, streaming services, etc. The prerequisite in this case is also that the audio material is tagged accordingly so that it can be identified electronically and sought and/or reused both by "robots" as well as from any authorized user.

Until next time

Yours, Nico Aprile

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