XappMedia might be a company you haven’t heard of, but that could change soon. It has spent the past few years pioneering a new ad format that prompts users to engage through voice commands. It’s well suited for lots of hands free moments (think drive time or jogging).
I’ve been talking to the company for the past year about its technology, and this week it debuts publicly. Known as Interactive Audio Ads (demo here), they’ll appear within the growing inventory sources of streaming apps that serve audio ads in addition to standard display.
The company also announced today that its launch partner is NPR. The new ad units will accompany audio spots within the NPR News app, and they’re already available for NPR advertisers that distribute audio ads through the app. Expect to see (or hear) it there, and likely other streaming apps soon.
This should resonate with advertisers in addition to being a fitting user experience. There will be a clearer ROI proposition for trackable and conversion-oriented actions that these voice commands drive (i.e., “download app”). In fact, NPR is already seeing $20 CPMs for some of these ads.
We’re bullish on the technology for that and lots of other reasons. One thing I like about it is that unlike the “feature creep” that has defined the world of mobile ads (slapping banner ads on a smaller screen), it takes a more native approach to the mobile form factor and specific use case.
This week’s announcement is also well timed for a white paper we have launching next week on audio ads. Until then, you can see our analyst round table this week. The video embedded below jumps right to the part where I explain and demo Xapp ads. Stay tuned for more.