The audio creative research and analytics company Veritonic is getting $7.5 million in new funding to expand its audio advertising research tools. The company has closed a Series A funding round led by Lavrock Ventures, with additional investment from Progress Ventures, Graycroft, Lerer Hippeau and Newark Venture Partners.
As part of the investment, Lavrock Ventures general partner Daniel Hanks will join the company’s board of directors.
As more and more brands see audio as a must-have marketing vehicle for reaching and resonating with audiences, Veritonic aspires to be the industry standard for audio advertising measurement. Veritonic founder and CEO Scott Simonelli says the cash infusion will allow it to hire more employees and more fully develop its analytics and measurement platform to keep pace with growing demand from marketers.
“The industry can’t grow without credible, reliable standards that are accurate and this funding helps us scale that,” Simonelli says. “It’s hard to do that for an industry as fragmented as the audio landscape…Hopefully, this helps us develop that standard to push the audio industry forward and, secondarily, I hope it provides the opportunity for 5-10 more companies who are similar to get funding and grow as well, because we don’t want to be on an island.”
The funding comes as digital audio ad spending (not including podcasting) is expected to increase 11% in 2022 to $6.21 billion, according to eMarketer. Podcast ad revenue is growing at a faster clip, with eMarketer forecasting 28.6% growth to more than $1.7 billion this year.
Scoring Audio Ads
Advertisers, agencies, and audio companies use Veritonic’s platform to research, test, and measure return on investment for audio ads and audio logos at various stages of a campaign. Among the services it provides are spending benchmarks for various ad categories. An insurance brand, for instance, can see what its competitors are investing in audio.
But Veritonic may be best known for testing audio ad creative to help marketers make advertising decisions and optimize their campaigns. That helps clients learn “what works for this audience or which audio ad or which piece of music or which voice to use,” Simonelli tells Inside Radio. The third service area for Veritonic is attribution – measuring how the ad performed in brand lift and other metrics and how that can improve the campaign the next time around.
Simonelli says Veritonic does this by going beyond standard tracking metrics like web traffic and ad clicks to leverage five years of testing audio campaigns for its Veritonic Audio Score. It knows, for example, that a certain type of audio ad scores high for purchase intent before it’s even run. “We already think we know the answer in a lot of cases and we’re using that standard performance plumbing to provide a comprehensive understanding of what’s happening sonically, what’s being said, what music is playing,” Simonelli explains.
While podcast advertising is the growth driver for audio right now, Veritonic measures audio advertising in all of its forms: broadcast radio, streaming audio, podcasting, even ads created expressly to be heard on smart speakers. Sonic branding is also on a growth tear with brand marketers. “People are [saying] ‘If I don’t have an audio strategy, I’m not doing my job,’ Simonelli says. “And how do I connect the audio part of what I’m doing with the rest of my advertising.”
In addition to working with brand advertisers and agencies such as Indeed, O’Reilly Auto Parts, Shopify and Havas, Veritonic also counts NPR, SXM Media, Westwood One and Audacy among its media partners.
“Insightful data and research from the Veritonic platform allowing us to make strategic, informed decisions around every element of our sponsors’ audio campaigns which result in them continuously outperforming our expectations,” National Public Media President & CEO Gina Garrubbo said in a statement.