Thought Leadership

The New Programmatic Standards: Why Audio & DOOH are Essential to Buyer Strategy

January 23, 2020
By Nina Harvey-O'Connor, Head of Mobile Strategic Accounts

Beyond desktop, new formats are breaking open the programmatic space, unlocking innovative inventory, and offering unique opportunities for marketers to reach untapped audiences in exciting, creative ways.


A century after the first-ever radio ad rocked the airwaves, we’re seeing a new golden age of sound. Streaming audio providers offer programmatic inventory that targets audiences in an immersive, piqued state — and is also proven to enhance brand recall

Meanwhile, audio assistants enable listeners to make purchases with simple audio commands, no wallet necessary. The combination of assistants and smart speakers creates a dream scenario for marketers — consumers can hear an ad and make an immediate purchase. While it’s still early days, audio’s potential to provide ad-supported content to a new generation of digital-first consumers has people listening. According to Media Village, in 2020, U.S. audio ad spend will exceed $20 billion. Worldwide, studies suggest 30 million people will be consuming digital audio by 2020. Rubicon Project’s established marketplace of audio sellers provides brands with the opportunity to buy targeted, quality audiences at scale across an array of publishers.


As “smart” cities invest more heavily in digital media formats like interactive kiosks, maps, and billboards, brands are pioneering means of connecting with commuters through digital out of home (DOOH) inventory. DOOH targeting parameters include location, weather, demographics, and interests, allowing marketers to send curated messages to audiences where they are. 

According to the Out of Home Advertising Association of America, out of home (OOH) ad spend grew 4.5 percent year-on-year to hit $8 billion last year. DOOH represented 29 percent of that spend, signaling how advertisers and media suppliers are looking beyond static placements and using everything from transit shelters, to jukeboxes, to elevator screens to reach audiences. 

Access to Emerging Formats

With emerging formats like Audio and DOOH, it’s crucial for both buyers and sellers to find trusted programmatic partners. Rubicon Project allows marketers to buy from a single provider at scale, in a brand-safe, premium marketplace. Buyers can access private marketplace packages (PMPs) through a simple user interface, bringing greater transparency and efficiency to programmatic media buying.

As new inventory emerges, unified omni-channel platforms like Rubicon Project will continue to help publishers consolidate their ad units. Meanwhile, buyers will be able to access diverse, quality inventory for targeted, cross-channel campaigns. 

For more info about emerging platforms and inventory, reach out to us at


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