French online music streaming service Deezer, launched in 2007, has carved itself a major place in the industry, globally and in the Middle East. Mazen Abdallah, Director of Ad Sales MENAT at Deezer, explains what Deezer can bring to the region’s advertisers.
What is the current shape of the audio marketing industry in MENA?
Digital audio industries are rapidly gaining traction in the region, growing in popularity and penetration rates. More brands are focusing on tech-enabled platforms to optimize their investments and reach, due to their highly tailored and precise targeting capabilities.
To give you an idea of the scale of the opportunities available, Internet audio advertising revenue reached more than $2.7 billion in the US in 2019 – a 21.2% increase year-on-year. We fully expect MENA to follow a similar pattern, particularly as the region is home to a young population who enjoys high smartphone penetration rates.
Who is the typical Deezer listener in the region?
Deezer’s audience can be described as enthusiastic, engaged, and curious. They share a real passion for music, have very eclectic listening habits, and are interested in seeking out new things.
We also cater to a young demographic with more than 80% of the audience under the age of 35. In addition, 93% of users in the region listen via our mobile app, which enables them to enjoy their favorite music wherever they go.
Our listeners are a committed audience who spend a considerable amount of time on the Deezer app each day. This creates exciting opportunities for brands to engage with their target audiences in impactful and innovative ways.
What are the challenges the music streaming industry faces in the region and what are the solutions?
One of the key challenges the sector faces in the region is a lack of awareness among potential advertisers. For the majority of people, radio spots are still one of the first things that come to mind when they think about audio advertising. While the format for a 30-second audio clip may be somewhat similar on the surface, advertising on our platform comes with a host of additional benefits.
When advertisers choose to work with Deezer, they are able to employ precise targeting based around the who, the when, and the what for their chosen demographic. This creates outstanding opportunities for rich contextual advertising that truly speaks to the audience. Every ad placement also generates measurable data as our users are logged in to the platform.
What are the formats available to advertisers?
Deezer offers brands a wide range of advertising solutions such as media advertising, innovative bespoke opportunities and Deezer rewards.
Starting with media advertising, Deezer offers premium audio spots, video ads, and a variety of display formats. Our highest performer is the mobile video pre-roll. This format is similar to what you see on social networks but nested in the heart of the Deezer product, ensuring attention from users as it is deployed as soon as they hit play. In addition, the format is un-skippable during the first six seconds and can go up to 30 seconds.
We have also found great success with a number of innovative bespoke campaigns that transcend regular formats. We like to think of these more as building highly interactive and engaging musical experiences for brands. For instance, we have created a branded music trivia quiz for a highly popular video game franchise in which players can interact with characters from the game. Another project involved teaming up with a restaurant to generate playlists based on listeners’ food preferences. It’s this extra touch of creativity that transforms a good campaign into a great one.
Finally, brands can benefit from Deezer rewards such as Deezer Premium subscriptions to incentivize their audience as an add-on to an existing Deezer campaign for maximum engagement, or as an independent value-add solution within the client’s own online or offline channels.
Who do you work with in the region?
At Deezer, we are user-centric and we work alongside our partners to ensure the best user experience.
Our exclusive MENA ad-sales partner is Rotana Media Services (RMS); they are an extension of our own internal ad-sales department. Together with RMS and our advertising partners within the region, we develop innovative solutions to reach the desired audience whilst delivering optimal results.
What tools are available to ensure efficiency and transparency?
Deezer offers a brand-safe, 100% logged-in environment with certified targeting accuracy and high completion rates. Advertisers can expect a completely transparent experience from the beginning to the end of their campaigns. This includes weekly and monthly reports showcasing campaign impact and presenting key metrics.
We also make it easy for brands to target specific personas, enabling them to reach out to different groups with greater accuracy than ever before. The more advertisers know about their audience, the more efficient we can be in delivering messages that truly connect with the people who matter.
How is tech transforming this industry?
The music streaming industry is built entirely on technology. Naturally, the latest breakthroughs have a huge impact. As far as advertising goes, data analysis and AI make it possible to serve users with ads that are more in line with their interests. This leads to higher levels of engagement and creates a more personalized experience, which is great news for both advertisers and their audiences.
Listeners will also benefit from the imminent rollout of 5G technology. This will result in the availability of higher bandwidths and faster Internet speeds, meaning that higher-quality streaming with less compression will become the norm in the near future.