Interactive Voice Ads – Stas Tushinskiy, Instreamatic – Voice Tech Podcast ep.033

Stas Tushinskiy Instreamatic

Episode description:

Stas Tushinskiy is the co-founder and CEO of Instreamatic, a San-francisco based company that enables voice interactivity and measurability in the audio ad market. In this episode we introduce you to a new concept that you’ll very likely be hearing much more about soon; interactive voice advertisements. An innovative use of STT, TTS, natural language understanding and audio content channels, interactive voice ads are an important new channel for monetising audio content such as radio shows, audiobooks and podcasts.

We discuss the problem with traditional audio ads today, then dive into the workings of interactive ads, and the huge benefits for advertisers, publishers and listeners alike. Stas shares some of the incredible engagement stats these ads are getting, 10-15% engagement levels in many cases, which are enormous compared to traditional audio adverts.

Certainly one of the most exciting concepts I’ve come across in a while, this is an episode you’ll do well not to miss.

Highlights from the show:

  • The problem with traditional audio ads? People tired of hearing ads so they engage less, so advertisers increase the number of ads. It’s a vicious cycle.
  • What are the benefits of interactive voice ads? Advertisers don’t need to scream at people any longer. They  can have a conversation with the customer.
  • How do they work? The advert plays for 10 seconds, then asks the listener if they want to hear more. The listener replies, either skipping the remainder of the ad, or hearing more content as needed. Either way, data is captured that improves the choice of ad for next time.
  • What kinds of actions can be taken after the ad finishes? Opening a website, initiating a call, adding an event to a calendar, making a donation, or simply a longer dialogue with the brand.
  • What other benefits are there? Having a listener respond is one step on the yes ladder – it leverages consistency bias, encouraging them to continue engaging with the brand.
  • What kinds of responses users can listeners respond with? Anything they want to! It’s important to maintain this freedom.
  • How does this impact content creation? There will be a blurring of the lines between content and adverts, increasing engagement with both.
  • What are the engagement stats for voice adverts? They off the charts compared to traditional click ads, with an average of 10-15%. Massive.
  • Why does ‘no’ today not mean no forever? Users’ replies are highly context dependent e.g. are they hungry now?
  • How effective are conversational ads for brand recognition? Conversations are much more memorable than traditional ads, enabling brand recognition sooner
  • Who benefits? Publishers can get better engagement, advertisers can more qualified leads, users can skip ads and hear more relevant ads.
  • What does their recent partnership with Pandora signal for interactive voice advertising in general? We’ll see, but the signs are very positive.
  • Where we’re likely to see these ads appearing first? Radio, audiobooks and podcasts.
  • What are the obstacles to wider adoption? Integration on the podcast app level needed. Also, audio revenue and engagement is not currently a priority for the large platforms.
  • How is AI is used to deliver personalised ads? In many places: interpreting the user response based on the context; optimal scheduling of the ad content.
  • Is any personallly identifiable information collected? No.
  • What kind of analytics do you offer? Highly granular analytics, containing information on why the user quit the ad, their emotional state etc
  • How can the technology can be abused? We’ll see, but many people will try, as ads are highly influential.

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