IAB UK Digital Upfronts 2017: DAX announces major US acquisition and new offices in France and Germany

Posted on: Monday 16 October 2017

Comedian John Robins kicked off Global’s IAB UK Digital Upfronts event this morning at Picturehouse Central, in London’s Piccadilly Circus, by stressing the power of voice. 

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“This is no trick of technology,” he joked. “People listen to my voice in the gym, in the bath, on public transport … I’m not an advert to be fast-forwarded.”

Oliver Deane, Global’s Director of Commercial Digital was up next. He also emphasised the role of audio in our lives, urging brands to ‘find their voice’ and pointing to Gartner data which predicted that, by 2020, thanks to voice-enabled search, 30% of internet browsing time will be screen-less.

What’s more, 22.1m - some 42% of the UK population - stream music, radio or podcasts each week, he revealed. Many listen to podcasts to expand their knowledge, he went on, with 95% listening in their home, thanks partly to the rise of smart speakers.  

Deane also highlighted the ease with which the medium of digital audio fits into our daily lives. “Voice is easy and we humans are lazy,” he said. “It’s convenient, simple to use, and fast.” 

As such, he warned the audience: “Your brand needs to find its voice. It’s the familiar sounding brands that will survive.”

Digital strategist at Global, Faye McDowall, then urged those present to think about how to navigate screen-less interaction, using voice to get their brands heard. 

“Only 17% of brands have audio branding guidelines,” she pointed out. “But voice matters … it unavoidably gives us emotional and social responses over and above language.”

DAX’s Ryan Rummery and Bradd Tipler also delivered some key announcements from Global's digital audio ad exchange. They started by saying that digital audio represents a brand safe environment, without fraud and with ‘virtually no ad blocking’.

With access to over 16m monthly listeners, DAX can identify, build, and target at scale, they added. And, to this end, the ad exchange has recently signed up three new data partners – Zoopla, Autotrader and MailOnline. 

Global also used this morning’s Upfronts event to launch three new effectiveness opportunities for which it is actively seeking partners: The first of these is to look into how audio exposure improves the performance of lower funnel digital media; the second aims to show how personalised audio shifts brand perceptions more than standard audio; and the third is looking into how to use audio to increase the use of brands’ Alexa skills

Last but not least, Deane returned to announce that DAX has made a major acquisition in the US - the biggest audio market in the world.

“We have acquired premium audio content provider AudioHQ,” he said, revealing, too, that, while the business will be rebranded to DAX, its talented team of audio experts will stay on. It has a monthly audience of 130m and also produces and distributes original audio content. “DAX the platform to get your voice heard,” he concluded.  

As of next month, DAX France and DAX Germany will also be open for business, with offices in Paris and Hamburg respectively. 


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