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Introducing XappMedia, the ad startup breathing life into interactive audio advertising

Wash­ing­ton-based adver­tis­ing start­up Xapp­Me­dia, a pio­neer in the emerg­ing field of inter­ac­tive audio adver­tis­ing, is about to make lis­ten­ing to the radio a lot more inter­est­ing. Well, at least for peo­ple with media jobs in online adver­tis­ing agen­cies, anyway.

Hav­ing recent­ly launched its lat­est audio adver­tis­ing plat­form Xapp Ads, which it describes as “hands free, eyes free, voice acti­vat­ed ads that pro­vide a new solu­tion for mon­e­tiz­ing the grow­ing Inter­net radio and mobile audio audi­ences”, it’s also just announced a that it’s raised a tidy $3 mil­lion in seed funding.

The pow­er of voice

Xapp­Me­dia ads are designed to be audi­al­ly, as opposed to visu­al­ly, engag­ing – some­thing that many art direc­tors and account man­agers may have for­got­ten about with the rise of the Visu­al Web. They begin rather con­ven­tion­al­ly, these ads. But don’t switch your atten­tion off: the intro­duc­to­ry pro­mo­tion­al spiel will be deft­ly fol­lowed by a call to action, not by swip­ing or click­ing, but by speak­ing. Lis­ten­ers sim­ply say a des­ig­nat­ed phrase out loud, where­upon they get a pro­mo­tion­al offer or pur­chase a product.

Nation­al Pub­lic Radio was XappMedia’s first paid client after its offi­cial launch in March this year. And Nation­al Pub­lic Radio, shrewd account man­agers will appre­ci­ate, has got reach. It charges just a lit­tle over $20 for CPMs.

Spo­ken engagement

Speak­ing about the Xapp Ads plat­form, the startup’s CEO, Pat Hig­bie, said:

“We’re about giv­ing con­sumers a voice and con­nect­ing them with adver­tis­ers and pub­lish­ers. We’re call­ing it an “ultra mobile device.” You can use it when you’re walk­ing, dri­ving, or the phone is in your pock­et or on your dashboard.”

Now here’s what ultra mobile inter­ac­tive audio adver­tis­ing means. Essen­tial­ly, these ads are for peo­ple who may be using their smart­phones but aren’t in a posi­tion at that moment to touch their screens, as Hig­bie describes. That’s the kind of sit­u­a­tion where a ban­ner ad is about as use­ful as a choco­late cof­fee pot. But with Xapp­Me­dia, adver­tis­ers and agen­cies can still run inter­ac­tive ads and engage effec­tive­ly, too.


The startup’s recent seed fund­ing was led by its exec­u­tive chair­man and founder, Frank Raines, and unnamed angel investors.

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