Instreamatic, which inserts interactive voice ads into audio streams, raises $ 6.1 million in Series A Round – TechCrunch
Instreamatic, an interactive voice advertising startup that can insert interactive voice ads into an audio stream, has raised $ 6.1 million in Series A funding led by Progress Ventures, along with Accomplice and Google Assistant Investments.
SF-HQ’d Instreamatic enables brands that advertise through streaming music apps and podcasts, for example, to have interactive voice-based dialogues with consumers. Rather than playing an audio advertisement in a one-way experience (as is currently the case with all commercials), the listener can speak and interact with the ad.
For example, if in an instreamatic advertisement “Hello! Do you need help falling asleep? ”The microphone of the device on which it is being played opens and the listener can react at will. If they say “yes”, the brand’s voice (maybe it’s a mattress brand) responds with “then we’ll sing you a lullaby”. If the user doesn’t respond, the ad experience ends and content continues to play. There are also more complex versions of this scenario. The key to this is that Instreamatic knows what happened and can customize future ads to match the listener’s previous engagement. Here is an example.
The company says its technology can understand the “intent and tone” of consumers’ natural responses in order to take the next action.
The result is that this AI-powered voice ad could soon appear on an audio stream near you. And with audio exploding after the pandemic, the platform will likely benefit.
CEO Stas Tushinskiy, CEO of Instreamatic, said in a statement, “Consumers don’t like being fed annoyingly repetitive ads. Brands are under ever-increasing pressure to make these moments meaningful and at the same time meet high ROI requirements. On the publisher side, audio and video platforms need a better way to prove their audience, and ad inventory delivers on its promise to brands. Our voice AI infrastructure, used by brands like IKEA, Infiniti and HP and on platforms like Pandora and Gaana, empirically shows that conversational marketing benefits brands, consumers and publishers alike. “
Instreamatic says its voice ads can get an average of 12% engagement, with some campaigns hitting 19%. These numbers are pretty unusual for the online advertising industry – the average CTR of mobile advertising is 0.6%.
The company says that in a recent Infiniti campaign, 5.5% of listeners who declined the offer on the first conversation asked for more information about the vehicle after the second (and more personalized) chat.
Instreamatic also says it can achieve something called “continuous dialogues” with consumers not unlike an Alexa or Siri device.
Due to the complexity of the platform, Instreamatic can also profile the user based on an individual consumer’s previous interactions with a brand in order to customize future campaigns.
Brands that have used the platform to date include Pandora, Salem Media, Gaana (the Indian music streaming service) and a recent deal with Universal Electronics to expand voice advertising to the smart TV industry. It also works with Triton Digital, one of the larger audio advertising networks.
“Consumer demand for audio and video content and the ubiquity of smart devices that deliver that content on demand continues to grow,” said Nick MacShane, founding partner of Progress Ventures, the venture capital arm of Progress Partners, a full-service commercial bank. “What has not caught up is how brands and publishers can effectively address these target groups in the same medium and analytically prove the ROI of their advertising expenditure for audio and video platforms.”
A competitor to Instreamatic is AdsWizz, which allows users to shake their phone instead of speaking when they are interested in an ad. But its interactions are therefore obviously more limited.
According to Juniper Research, the US voice advertising market will boom to $ 19 billion by 2022. Voice assistant usage is booming. Some estimates put it in excess of 3 billion, and half of all searches are expected to be in the language. Around 55% of young people use voice search on a daily basis.
In addition to Tushinskiy, the Instreamatic team also includes co-founder Simon Dunlop (former CEO / founder of Bookmate, a subscription-based reading and audio book platform, and Zvuk; Victor Frumkin (co-founder of Zvuk, a mobile music streaming app in Eastern Europe and Bookmate) ; Ilya Lityuga, CTO, one of the original team members at RuTube; and Andy Whatley, veteran of the US radio industry.