As many of you are aware, I have posted several ideas that utilize VXML technology. I write ideas that incorporate this technology, because I feel it’s under-utilized, has great utility (the phone is something everyone knows how to use), and there is much opportunity in this space.
Two of the services that are gaining momentum and thus getting advertisers to create audio ad inventory include Jingle Networks (home of ‘1-800-FREE-411’) and Unwired Buyer (eBay is their first customer; they provide consumers with phone call reminders minutes before an auction is about to end, letting the user make a last minute bid).
Right now, both companies are either creating the ads in-house for the advertisers — or the advertisers’ ad agencies are supplying them with the finished audio ads. There’s already a huge inventory of ads created for radio play, but these two players are focused on using shorter ads — in the 10-15 second range — which are then played to consumers, before use of their services.
I believe there’s opportunity for a business that becomes an audio ads network provider — hooking up with publishers (i.e. Unwired Buyer and Jingle) and allowing advertisers to secure ad inventory with those companies, and the many more voice-based businesses that we’ll be seeing soon. This ad network provider would help advertisers create ads — copy writers that adjust the message the advertiser has; A/B testing of various ads (change up the ad message; see which ads engage users better); simple web-based tools that allow a small advertiser to create an audio ad — either via ‘text-to-speech’, calling in their own ad with their voice, or uploading an audio file that is the audio ad, or in-house creation of the ads for the advertiser.
Great reporting tools will be needed — and the ability for the advertiser to have not only CPM ability [playing their ad to users], but CPC ability [asking the user a question during the ad — “press 1 now if you’d like to receive a coupon via email for this product!” or “press 2 to have a pic of this product sent to your cell phone right now”]. If the ad network could then know which users engaged with ads (publisher provides the phone number back to ad network), then the ad network knows they can serve up more ads that those users can engage in.
Then there’ll be the ability for advertisers to specify keywords that relate to their business — and ads would get served to users on various voice-based services that are hearing/engaging with related content.
There’d need to be easy API’s that the voice-based service could use to easily integrate this ad inventory.