Interviews, insight & analysis on digital media & marketing

2020 Visions: AI in advertising and podcast growth

As we head into what is set to be a seminal year for the digital industry, NDA has been talking to leaders across the market to hear their thoughts on what 2020 holds.

Tom Ollerton is Founder of Automated Creative and host of the hugely popular Shiny New Object podcast. We caught up with him to get his thoughts on the march of AI into the creative industries and the continued growth of podcasting.

What has been the most important development of 2019 in the digital industry and your professional highlight of the last decade?

Digital has opened up the prospect of becoming a commercial artist to people who wouldn’t have had a voice before.

People can make money online if they are creative without the permission of a publisher; you don’t need big budgets to make it, just big ideas. 

From a personal perspective, my highlight has been setting up Automated Creative and our mission to reinvent advertising with AI.  

AI has moved from the purely experimental stage and is now redefining how advertising works – it’s exciting to be a part of this shift.

What are you most excited about in digital in 2020?

Synthetic Ads, which are ads that use imagery that has been entirely created by a machine.

So there is no need for expensive photo shoots in exotic locations – it will all be generated on a server somewhere and optimised to the audience in real-time.

This will give brands more creative control, better performance and first-party data into their audiences.  

Why should advertisers be excited about digital in 2020?

They still have jobs and the machines haven’t taken over – yet.

We are seeing a plethora of new companies entering the space. Other than your own company, who are you most excited about?

As a podcaster, I’m inundated with approaches from new podcast support businesses.

There’s lots of innovation going on and the podcasting industry is growing.

In the US for example, 32% of people now listen monthly – up from 26% last year – the biggest yearly increase since 2008. 

It’s been a slow burner, but podcasting will become an even bigger force in the next few years.