Ashwin Padmanabhan & Parthasarathy M on growing audio advertising in India

In an exclusive conversation with Adgully following the announcement of the partnership between Spotify and GroupM, Ashwin Padmanabhan, President of Investments, Trading, and Partnerships at GroupM, and Parthasarathy Mandayam (MAPS), Chief Strategy Officer, GroupM in South Asia, share details of the ‘Spotify Sparks’ event and the larger collaboration between WPP and Spotify, as well as highlighting some trends emerging in the audio streaming industry, and more.

Shedding light on the genesis of the partnership, Padmanabhan emphasised the global focus on leveraging insights from Spotify to enhance WPP’s advertising capabilities. “The focus of that partnership is really about the audience insights from Spotify,” he said, mentioning about their platform that itself starts feeding into GroupM’s own insights engine – Choreograph.

He underscored the importance of bringing an Indian context to the collaboration, considering the substantial audience of around 200 million people streaming audio in India. The goal is to better understand how Indian consumers engage with audio content, measure their streaming habits, and create unique opportunities for advertisers. Both GroupM and Spotify share a vision for growing audio advertising in India, aligning their commitment to the market.

Parthasarathy Mandayam expressed excitement about the partnership, recognising the significance of engaging with a massive audience of 200 million. He emphasised the need to understand distinct consumer segments and their emotional contexts to identify optimal opportunities for connecting with diverse audiences through various content formats. The ultimate aim is to measure the impact of these connections on brands.

When discussing the current state of the audio streaming industry in 2023, Padmanabhan noted that despite a relatively small spending perspective of $48 million on audio streaming, there is significant untapped potential. The consumption of creative content has expanded, especially post-pandemic, with diverse individuals across various cities participating in the trend.

Parthasarathy highlighted the broad category participation in audio streaming, making it a hot trend. Unlike terrestrial radio, national brands are now exploring opportunities to understand audiences through data and customise messaging. Dynamic Creatives, tailoring messages based on individual listeners’ music preferences, have become a notable trend, offering powerful opportunities for brands to connect. Both national and regional/ local brands are moving beyond traditional messages to create relevant advertising content for the platform and its diverse audience, often incorporating dynamic elements. The platform’s versatility in meeting a wide range of business requirements is noteworthy.


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