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Ideas and technique to help you promote and image radio

Podcast: A Million Ads, dynamic audio and personalised ads

Sam and Steve of A Million Ads

Sam and Steve of A Million Ads

The Earshot podcast is all about great radio production, shared by the people who make it.

Play or download this podcast

A Million Ads, with and Steve Dunlop & Sam Crowther.

Duration 43’23”, 192kb/s stereo mp3, file size 60.89 MB.
Loudness -16 LUFS.

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Show notes

Explore new creative opportunities in programmatic advertising and dynamic audio in the company of two highly knowledgeable and likeable pioneers in this emerging field. Steve Dunlop and Sam Crowther run A Million Ads, the London-based agency that leads the world in dynamic, personalised audio advertising.

With patience and clarity in this Earshot podcast, Steve and Sam take Steve Martin through this emerging growth area and how it works. They also demonstrate some new creative routes to more effective communication through personalisation with real-life campaign audio from their early clients. What’s more, they do all this in a pub.

If you listen to online radio or streaming music services that carry advertising you may have already heard dynamically assembled ad spots that take account of the data advertisers know about you.

A short route to increased effectiveness or a little bit spooky? Download this edition of the Earshot podcast and hear for yourself.

The A Million Ads platform

Everything Sam and Steve describe in the podcast is achieved through this platform, unique to A Million Ads.

As they explain in the show, data from trading desks triggers individual elements to be instantly assembled to create a customised variant of the ad you hear.

On the production side, the assembly workflow takes around 1.5 times more than production of a traditional ad, yet can yield many tens of thousands of personalised variants… perhaps even a million ads.

Variants are indexed with text labels. Here there are 7 day variants x 4 alternatives triggered by live weather data

Each variant is linked to an associated audio object within a traditional DAW timeline.

A whole campaign

Graphic example of a personalised campaign

In this graphic visualisation (click the image to go big), the first division is a branch determined by the closest airport to you,
the second is the weather where you are,
the third is a rotation of airport specific holiday destinations available,
the fourth is the temperature you could be enjoying there,
the fifth is the flight time from that particular airport,
and the sixth is a dynamic sales message call-to-action.

Over 12,500 ads in all. Sam says it’s not their biggest, but is one of the more beautiful!


The Theodore Bullfrog

The Theodore Bullfrog

This show was recorded in the Theodore Bullfrog, John Adam Street, London. A great pub in which to discuss dynamic audio.


The Tiger Club logo

Earshot podcast graphicResearch by Hayley Hayes. Earshot theme by the Tiger Club Band. Voiceover is Elly Fairman at Hobsons.

Views are personal. The contributors acknowledge all rights held by the owners, creators and performers of the recorded works which are included solely for the purposes of education and review.