Adobe Analytics Cloud — a set of analytics tools used by large media companies including Spotify, Pandora, Time Warner, Viacom and CBS Interactive — launched a spate of new features Tuesday for its clients to gather an unprecedented amount of information from users’ audio-streaming habits. These metrics include meticulous streaming measurements and a machine-learning tool that detects patterns and can identify the “most valuable segment of listeners” on a platform.
The software giant’s new analytics tool provides more than 70 metrics by which to observe some of the most infinitesimal details of users’ streaming habits, such as ad completion rate, number of times a playback session is paused, rate of pause versus play seconds, and specific time markers measuring the percent completion of ads and content. Through a feature called “Segment IQ,” which operates through the company’s AI and machine-learning platform Adobe Sensei, clients can also figure out specific groups of listeners to best target for marketing and engagement campaigns.
What’s the purpose of all this? Detailed analytics tools let companies — be it retail brands, hotel chains, advertising agencies — get further into the minds of their listeners for better monetization. While many streaming services have in-house teams constantly scrutinizing their own users’ habits, companies slotting ads into the content want information as well, especially as the audio entertainment industry booms. (The steady climbs of audiobooks and podcasts has supplemented music-streaming’s still-unfinished growth spurt.) And according to a recent report from the Interactive Advertising Bureau, digital audio advertising grew 42 percent in 2017, generating $603 million compared to $425 million the year previous; Spotify was the third most popular advertising platform (after Instagram and Amazon) in an Ad Age survey last year.
“A typical user could go from smart speaker at home, to listening in the car on their morning commute, to then both smartphone and desktop at work, and so on,” Adobe said in a press release announcing the new technology. “Whether it is music, podcasts or e-books, people are consuming much more audio content over the Internet. And unlike many other services, the consumption patterns are incredibly dynamic.” But there’s ample money to be made when those patterns are unearthed.