In this episode, Christian Facey – co-founder and CEO of Audiomob – joins Naavik co-founder Aaron Bush to discuss:
- The current state of audio ads, and how non-intrusive in-game audio ads can play a larger role in the future
- Why Audiomob exists, how it’s scaled so far, and what the company’s plans are for the future
- Christian’s lessons learned as an entrepreneur, including how to plan for an IPO so early on, how to build a diverse recruiting pipeline, and how to prepare for the worst while also preparing for the best
Audiomob’s Story: [00:01:00]
[Aaron]: What is Audiomob’s mission and what is the story of why and how you started it?
[Christian]: The mission was originally to link mobile and audio opportunities but our idea and dreams have gotten bigger than that and we wanted to become the ultimate audio content delivery platform. We invented non-intrusive audio ads games.
How Audio Ads Work Like in Games [00:02:40]
[Aaron]: What audio ads looks like and how it can work in games?
[Christian]: I guess I could use an example in the video ad medium. You’ve got a video ad, it's being put in YouTube or TV, it does block the primary motive, you don’t go to television to watch ads, you go there to consume content you’ve chosen to view. If you take an audio ad and you intermingle it into a medium where you are actually engaged in something else and you’re not blocking the medium, we take away that annoyance that the audio ad is and then you get the golden trifecta because you’re taking advantage of that engagement without actually blocking it.
The audio market today is growing between 20 to 30% a year and is more resistant because it tends to be cheaper. If you take the global mobile gaming market, when you check the audio ads market that can be funneled into games, you get at least 40 billion dollars roughly in the audio programmatic ecosystem that now can be programmatically connected to the mobile gaming space.
Pretty much every mobile game that is not story driven or any game that doesn’t rely specifically on audio can be good cases for adoption audio ads.
Trade-offs for Audio Ads [00:11:40]
[Aaron]: What are the other nuances to consider that are just fundamentally different to how companies should think about implementing audio ads vs video ads that they were using previously?
[Christian]: You can’t really use audio ads as video ads because it's still at the early stages where games are not yet designed around audio ads. We just need to seed and educate the market, I believe in two years from now the games are going to be designed around audio just like they’ll be designed around in-display native ads as well as video ads. That what you’ve to be really careful with, it's not just plugging the audio ad every 30 seconds, you have to really use the best practices that we’ve researched.
How are Audio Ads Affected By Apple’s ATT policies [00:16:00]
[Aaron]: How do you think about audio and IDFA, what’s the story there?
[Christian]: To go into my background, I worked at Google and I worked at Facebook as a science partner, measuring the true value of ads. Back in 2018 when I left, Facebook was really scared with what was going to happen to IDFA in 2021, there were like four main scenarios that were predicted. What we found is that when the IDFA scenario occurred last year, we were completely unaffected because our CPM’s were built upon brand advertising, doing more contextual targeting rather than using personal data.
Audiomob Product and Business Model [00:18:10]
[Aaron]: What exactly is the Audiomob’ product and maybe after that you could talk about the business model.
[Christian]: Audiomob’s business is on two sides. We have an Unity plug-in that we use, that’s a drag and drop solution that could be very easily integrated into games built with Unity. And then we also work directly with advertisers as well, so rather than just relying on third-party demand sources, we actually have our own DSP, our own advertising platform and we interact directly with advertisers agencies, resellers, and of course big brands.
Deepening Relationships with Companies [00:33:05]
[Aaron]: Any lessons learned or advice on anything you’ve learned improving relationships so far?
[Christian]: The advice I wish I received earlier is to don’t assume that the client that you’re interacting with has the framework for you to follow in order to scale you. For instance, there are monetization managers we spoke to, we’ll give the best practices and because of de-risking the integration they’d want to do it in a quick and scrappy way but that could lead to a decreased retention. So being really really rigorous with the scaling framework and not assuming that your client is going to know what that framework is - even put that into a contract if you need to. So yeah, taking a more authority viewpoint there and structuring things so it's easy for a large group of people on the client side to follow, that’s absolutely key to systematically scale the client.