Daniel Anstandig

Daniel Anstandig reflects on what Futuri has learned so far from generating 5,000 AI-enabled spec spots.

In 2023, we created a new spec spot service at Futuri called SpotOn. This is AI-enabled spec spots, automatically generated with scripts, voiceovers, music, and production. After six months live in the field, some early numbers are in. We now have a preview of potential paths of growth for radio, along with some astounding efficiency gains.

In the six months that our product has been live, over 5,000 spec spots have been created for prospects and clients. Spec spots that previously soaked up time and bandwidth from copywriters, producers, and editors for every pitch can now materialize on demand, within a matter of minutes, thanks to AI.

Popular Spec Spot Categories by Industry

Most spec spots made by SpotOn in its initial months fell into five core radio advertiser categories.

Automotive: Spots were tailored for individual dealers and sales events, including end-of-model-year and holiday sales, seasonal events, and pre-owned sales. This is a critical category for radio to showcase flexible messaging and production capabilities.

Retail: Users have been creating spec spots for clothing, big box, and e-commerce players. Toys, electronics, and home goods were the most popular products featured in Q4. This clearly highlights radio’s value in driving shopper actions with flexible, geo-targeted messages.

Financial Services: Radio creative has spanned banks, credit cards, tax prep, local accounting firms, insurance and more. We observed stations using AI-generated spec spots to emphasize key nuances for regional brands, such as credit unions and local banks.

QSR: Quick-service restaurants rely on radio to connect promotional offers with impulse-driven consumers. Most common keywords mentioned in these spec spots: special, limited time, fresh, sale, combo, happy hour, kids eat free.

Travel and Tourism: In a category where radio does not typically capture a high market share, we observed local recreation (kayaking/biking/hiking/fishing) businesses, cooking schools, and equipment rental shops using our spec spot service. Most common keywords: adventure, local, winter, explore, relax, deal.

These categories are interesting because the top four show AI immediately plugging into core radio advertiser verticals like automotive and QSR, proving adaptability to already established brands who are looking for new creative angles. Even more interesting (and exciting) is travel and tourism, showing expansion into previously underrepresented budgets in radio.

What types of spec spot voices are most popular (so far)? Approximately 57% of the ads predominantly feature a male voice, while the remaining 43% utilize a female voice. The most popular accents among these commercials are, in order of prevalence, Midwest USA, Southern USA, Australian, and British.

SpotOn AI Habla Español

The second most popular language is Spanish, and interestingly, the most popular categories for spots produced in Spanish are direct to consumer brands, particularly digitally native startups, which are increasingly targeting younger, tech-savvy Latino audiences. Also, SpotOn was used to create spots for a number of healthcare brands and services like telemedicine apps, addressing a vital need for accessible health communication in the community. Most common keywords mentioned in these spots included ahorre/ahorrar, envío gratis, fácil, rapido, moderno, nuevo.

Popular Spec Spot Length

When it comes to the duration of these commercials, the majority leans towards brevity and impact, with 15-second spots being the most common, closely followed by 30-second versions, indicating a strategic focus on concise, engaging, and memorable messaging.

Efficiency on the Horizon

In the 1800s, a cross-country trip from New York to California took about 6 months by covered wagon. Today by flight, it takes less than 6 hours – a 5,000x improvement. Just as transportation saw massive gains via technology, AI promises similar velocity increases in content production. And with AI-driven tools, closing sales can also be expedited.

If each of the 5,000+ spec spots created by SpotOn took humans ~25 minutes to produce, this saved approximately 2000 human hours – a year of a single production director’s time.

Technological adoption curves allow 10x or even 100,000x efficiency gains over relatively short multi-decade timeframes. This precedent illustrates AI's imminent promise for the radio industry. The foundation is now set for stations to exponentially scale AI-generated spots across many categories in 2024.

After leveraging AI to generate 5,000 spec spots in a fraction of the time it would normally take, we now have a peek into potential paths of growth for radio, along with some astounding efficiency gains. What we’ve learned so far is this game-changing technology produces high usage and time savings, is being adopted by key sponsors, offers potential for new budget expansion, resonates with Spanish-language audiences, and promises more efficiency gains ahead.

Daniel Anstandig is Founder and CEO of Futuri, whose AI-driven technology solutions are used by thousands of broadcasters worldwide to grow their content, audience, and revenue. He holds 20 published or pending patents in 151 countries worldwide. Reach him at linkedin.com/in/anstandig/.

Also read:

The Dawn of a New Era in AI.

Unlocking the Power of AI: The Vital Role of Human Expertise.