Interactive Audio Ad Startup Instreamatic Raises $6.1M
Interactive audio ad platform Instreamatic announced a $6.1 million Series A funding round led by Progress Ventures. The funding, which also included Google Assistant Investments and Accomplice as investors, will go toward scaling the business and adding more features as interest in ads you can talk to begins to surge.
Instreamatic supports a platform for advertisers to set up a dialogue with people listening to their ads on a digital audio app. The voice AI offers more information and potential savings on a product or brand and listeners can say if they want to know more or not. The questions can be set to be more creative, asking if the listener is hungry, or using the response to start a custom playlist of songs. The resulting data, including the tone of the listener, is collected and analyzed so the brand can develop better ads and the AI can improve how well it understands what people are saying. Once the user talks to the ad, the tech’s continuous dialogue will note and remember the conversation to customize ads in the future. The company’s ads can be heard on platforms like Pandora, Salem Media, and Gaana. A recent deal with Universal Electronics brought Instreamatic’s ads to smart TVs as well.
“The future of advertising on audio and video platforms is in two-way brand-consumer engagement,” Instreamatic CEO Stas Tushinskiy said in a statement. “It’s clear that the traditional one-way model is broken. Consumers don’t like being fed annoyingly repetitive ads. Brands are under ever-increasing pressure to make those moments meaningful while supporting strong ROI demands. On the publisher side, audio and video platforms need a better way to prove their audiences and ad inventory deliver their promise to brands. Our voice AI infrastructure, deployed by brands such as IKEA, Infiniti, and HP and across platforms like Pandora and Gaana, is empirically demonstrating that conversational marketing benefits brands, consumers, and publishers alike. We enable the brand-consumer conversation.”
Instreamatic claims a 12% rate of engagement on average, with a high of 19%. Even when they aren’t interactive, radio ads streaming to smart speakers can raise brand awareness. A Cumulus Media case study found that those who heard an ad for the Southeast Michigan Ford Dealers Association on their smart speaker were 24% more likely to be familiar with the brand. There are a growing number of attempts to introduce interactive ads. AdTonos ran an interactive audio ad campaign in London late last year for Audi through smart speakers that would ask if listeners wanted to book an Audi test drive. Pandora’s success in early experiments led to expanding its interactive ad campaign, while Spotify’s campaigns have included Unilever brands and UK cosmetics firm Nars. The smart TV idea is also already being tested by voice-enabled remotes on Peacock, NBC’s new streaming service.