Advertising Week Panelist Spotlight: Brian Benedik, Spotify

Brian-Benedik-spotify-xapp-awxiSpotify’s Vice President of North America Advertising, Brian Benedik is one of four panelists on next week’s Advertising Week panel, “Out of Touch but Still Connected: Today’s Ultramobile Consumers.” He shares what he’s seen change in advertising over the years and how mobile has rocked the whole industry.

How did you wind up working on the advertising side of the business?

I studied at the Newhouse School of Communications at Syracuse University and had an interest in media at an early age. Between internships at TV and radio stations (pre-internet) in college, I learned the basics of the ad business, particularly on the administrative side. With the experience, I was selected to enter a training program at the Katz Media Group post college and the rest is history.

What surprised you most when you first started working with advertisers?

Since I jumped into this business before the world wide web, there were a lot of handshakes and “back of the napkin” agreements. I was amazed on how much money changed hands based on personal relationships, but then realized the importance of trust in this business. Advertisers want to work with publishers who meet their needs, but they also want to work with people they trust.

What continues to surprise you?

How quickly the environment is changing. I work at one of the more innovative companies, but even I have challenges keeping up with new technology.

How has advertising in radio/audio changed from 5 or 10 years ago?

Dramatically. The choices for brands in audio has exploded and while it’s exciting for all, it’s become a more complex process for the demand side. The online audio publishers have earned a seat at the radio budget table and they are providing a lot of value. Five years ago, a radio plan would have your normal set of call letters included, but today it’s a set of call letters plus a number of online audio providers to align with audio consumption patterns in 2014.

How have radio/audio advertisers changed in recent years, if at all?

Their approach and planning processes are very different from a few years ago. With online audio users expanding, it has forced advertisers to expand their consideration set of potential partners. The online audio providers now offer new options for brands to build amazing experiences on top of their platforms. I believe we have more creativity in our business now that it’s gone way beyond just purchasing “spots.”

What do you think are the most important trends in radio/audio today?

Mobile & Data.

The mobile audio consumption shift is in motion and shows no sign of slowing down. It’s forcing publishers to re-think their entire user experience and advertising model based around this smaller device. It’s forcing brands to re-think how marketing plans live on this smaller device. It’s very exciting as it’s evolving before our eyes.

The online audio providers are collecting a tremendous amount of data on consumers everyday, and brands want access to that data for better investment decisions. The industry is getting smarter on how to package that data for brands and agencies in a responsible way.

Panelist Spotlight, NPR/National Public Media: Bryan Moffett

Panelist Spotlight, AdLarge Media: Cathy Csukas

Panelist Spotlight, XAPPmedia: Pat Higbie

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The panel will be held on September 30th on the Microsoft Stage in Times Square in New York City from 10:30-11:30am. XAPPmedia has a limited number of free tickets for our guests to attend the panel discussion. If you would like to reserve a free ticket to this Advertising Week event, please click the button below to register.

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