Marketers are looking to invest more in programmatic audio, with over 60% looking to increase their programmatic audio spend over the next 18 months, according to research from Xaxis and IAB Europe.

The report, which surveyed 499 buyers and publishers from across the EMEA region, found that 59% are already using programmatic audio, however, 79% of marketers only invest less than 10% of total ad spend on the medium.

When it came to the main drivers for investing in programmatic audio, complementing the media mix (63%), reaching to specific audiences (59%) and raising brand awareness (58%) were the key motivators for marketers increasing their budgets. The report also found that 63% see the key drivers for investing in the channel as being able to accomplish targeting efficiencies and data insights (44%).

“Audio’s high level of consumer engagement married with the efficiency of programmatic delivery and brand-safe environments creates a highly appealing media channel for brands,” said Daniel Knapp, chief economist at IAB Europe.

However, when it comes to understanding the channel, just 15% of buyer-side marketers are confident in their understanding of programmatic audio with this figure increasing to 30% on the sell-side. Meanwhile, 49% of respondents also identified not having a clear understanding of the impact of programmatic audio on total revenue as a barrier, while 44% said it was the lack of technology available for their low investment.

“Programmatic audio is the future,” said Alex McGibbon, VP of client solutions, Xaxis; “There is the potential for Europe to lead the way in cementing it as an essential component of today’s media mix. There is an obvious appetite to increase knowledge and understanding of programmatic capabilities and if addressed, the opportunity to boost programmatic audio spend over the next 18 months.”

A separate study from global-owned digital audio advertising platform DAX found that 85% of advertisers are set to invest in digital audio in the next 12 months. This is all in response to more people consuming digital audio such as radio and podcasts than ever before.