Five years ago, we created the Cisneros Interactive division. Its mission was to monetize and optimize the digital traffic of Latin America and the Hispanic market of the United States. We started with solutions for mobile phones through Adsmovil and online with RedMas, and this year we venture into the world of digital audio through the creation of Audio.Ad. For this blog entry, I invited our associate Gonzalo Alonso, Managing Director of Audio.Ad, to write about this new and innovative initiative.
Audio.Ad is a technology company that provides advertising solutions in Digital Audio Premium Content in Latin America and the Hispanic market in the United States. Focused on helping brands tell their stories through the power of Audio messages, we collaborate with radio stations, music services, and podcasts in monetizing their content with relevant and quality advertisements for their audiences.
That is our mission and our raison d’être, but who are we really? And what value do we add to the industry?
We are a team of people with a passion for Technology and Audio. We feel passionate about music, a well-executed radio show, good use of language, and the persuasive power of eloquent speech. Digital audio is our place on the Internet. We’ve been developing the industry for twenty months, working very closely with top regional Radio groups, musical services like Deezer, and commercially operating the two most important Digital Audio exchanges on a global level. In no time, we became the leaders of the Latin American market and leaders in opinion, which allowed us to keep advancing and keep searching for a way to make our mark.
But to understand the current state of affairs, it would be ideal to understand the path the Radio industry has taken since the beginning, and how we came to be an ecosystem of Digital Audio consumption that today is the most popular activity on the internet, second only to the use of social media.
Everything began more than eighty years ago, in the 20s, when Radio became a surprising part of our daily lives and offered an alternative way to receive information and entertainment. Radio’s unique characteristics compared to other means of communication, like latecomer television, allowed for music and eloquent discussion to find a place in family homes and in the workplace.
Little by little, publicity became part of its daily emissions, jingle advertisements that were just songs created explicitly for the advertiser and their product. It was a way to tell and sing stories in which the product was the protagonist. The brand name was mentioned during the song and repeated in the chorus, making it nearly impossible to forget.
In the following decades, with the arrival of television, Radio went from being the ideal media for massively consumed products to the ideal complement for their grand coverage, notoriety, and credibility. Radio is synonymous with words, great speech, music, special effects, and silence.
The Radio is sound, and sound has the power to generate emotion, produce movement and freedom; create memories.
We have been capable of celebrating endlessly when we listen to a song we like, a song that provokes memories of a special moment. We’ve heard thousands of commercial jingles because we grew up with them. We’ve heard discussions and expressions that have moved us emotionally, and we immediately recognize the voices of the people who influence us, regardless of whether we have known them personally or not.
For many decades, Radio was the medium with the most power to spread ideas and entertainment, the perfect companion to have in moments of loneliness, during family trips, in offices, businesses, and workplaces.
And then the Internet burst forth; first in government organizations, then in universities, then, between 1993 and 1995, with the opening of the first commercial accounts, all across the world. In little more than four years the Internet boasted more than fifty million users globally.
The Internet broke down paradigms. The Berlin wall is not the only wall to crumble in this new era. The new age of information and knowledge, dubbed “the third wave” by Alvin Toffler, allowed radio to explore new opportunities. Through streaming, radio stations were now able to distribute their content online now that offline signals were reaching less of an audience. And this was only the beginning, as soon the internet would be able to create new channels of communication and distribution that would reinvent many industries.
The birth of Napster in 1999 changed the music business forever. Napster wasn’t just a software that allowed mass sharing of Digital Audio content (and later other formats): Napster reengineered the business of the strongest and most massive industry in the world.
The decade of the 2000s marked the beginning of the true digital revolution. Year after year, new players and technologies arose that accelerated the consumption of Digital Audio in the United States and other markets in Europe: Pandora in 2000, the launch of the first iPod in 2001, LastFM and TuneIN Radio in 2002, MySpace in 2003, iTunes Radio in the coming years along with Spotify, Deezer, iHeartRadio, Grooveshark, SoundCloud, MixCloud, and so many other streaming platforms began transforming the ecosystem into a place of critical mass and great allure for brands. At the same time, Smartphones and broadband connections grew in popularity, finding users of all ages.
Today, this consumption has translated to Latin America exponentially. More than 100 million people consume Digital Audio, and another 20 million do it in the Hispanic market in the United States. Never has so much Audio content been transmitted and shared as is being done so today. Day and night; Radio, Music, or Podcasts; on a diverse variety of devices – and the numbers keep rising.
Audio.Ad is the first company that provides brands access to major publicity coverage on Digital Audio platforms in Latin America and the Hispanic market of the United States. With more than 500 affiliated broadcasters, we can directly and programmatically connect your brand with your audience through the intelligence of our technology. The time is now. Your clients listen to Digital Audio.