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Guest Post: Making Lemonade with Omnicom Media Group

Aflorithmic created SARA - Omnicom’s first corporate synthetic voice. In this guest post, Raphael Fix and Benjamin Becker explain How AI Audio Will Revolutionize The Market - This Is What The Future Sounds Like

Raphael Fix

Raphael Fix

Aflorithmic created SARA - Omnicom’s first corporate synthetic voice. In this guest post, Raphael Fix and Benjamin Becker explain How AI Audio Will Revolutionize The Market - This Is What The Future Sounds Like

TLDR? Listen to the podcast (German)

In this episode of the Let's Make Lemonade podcast, Raphael Fix, Senior Project Manager of Digital Innovation OMG, Sara Artis, Director of AI Audio Solutions OMG, and Benjamin Becker, Managing Partner of Business Development OMG explore how artificial intelligence is changing the audio market and will inspire innovation in the future.

The Current Audio Market Shows Massive Innovation Movements

Audio is currently experiencing a boom in innovation, particularly in the areas of artificial intelligence and synthetic creations. Earlier this year, the company Sonantic appeared in the trade press because it successfully cloned the voice of actor Val Kilmer and used it in the new film Top Gun Maverick. The context to this was that Kilmer was suffering from throat cancer and had partially lost his voice as a result of this illness.

Raphael explains that the software company Sonantic then created a digital model of the voice and trained it with an AI. A short time later, Spotify announced the acquisition of Sonantic to use this technology for a personalized approach to users.

‍Other actors have also had their voices cloned, such as James Earl Jones, who lent his voice to Darth Vader for years. The 91-year-old is now retiring for good, but his voice will still be preserved for the Star Wars character. James Earl Jones had his voice cloned with the help of audio recordings in collaboration with the startup Respeecher. In the future, artificial intelligence will use these recordings to imitate the voice of the speaker and can thus preserve the original Darth Vader voice for further Star Wars films.

‍These examples show how advanced audio technology is already in the English-speaking market, and voice cloning is already at a higher level there. For this reason, we are proud to report that we and our partners are one of the first companies to establish this technology with German voices for the DACH region.

Audio Is Not Only Voice, But Also Atmosphere, Music, and Mixing

Raphael is certain: AI & audio will rapidly conquer new fields of communication. This is particularly evident in the new fields of application with synthetic voices in the entertainment industry. Sara adds that innovation in the audio market should not only be equated with artificial voices but must be seen holistically with other components such as music, atmosphere, and mixing. This can be seen in Apple's Spring 2022 acquisition of UK startup AI Music, a software company working on various tools around dynamic music customization, with a particular focus on the audio advertising market. This highlighted not only the voice use case but also what solutions already exist in the field of synthetic and dynamic music.

Audio Innovation Must Improve All Auditory Components

The various components such as text-to-speech, voice cloning, and AI-driven audio mixing were demonstrated this year with new innovative use cases and collaborations. But it is the combination of all individual solutions that opens up new innovative product and solution fields, especially for the agency market - like the following use case of an audio DCO product shown by Raphael.

DCO Is Now Also Enabled In The Audio Market

What has been standard in the online display sector for years is now becoming increasingly relevant for the audio market. In the project "S.A.R.A." (Speech & Audio Real-Time Automation) project, the agency group combines solutions from the technology company Aflorithmic with media activation and its in-house software solutions in the area of smart data and dealer marketing.

‍As a result, the agency group is now using Dynamic Creative Optimization (DCO) for audio spots and can create and optimize them dynamically in real-time. The audio files generated with artificial intelligence and voice cloning can now be created in unlimited variety and activated via programmatic advertising.

AI Enables New Audio Use Cases

Especially companies with a branch structure can go new efficient ways through Audio DCO. According to Raphael, companies can now create and activate up to 500,000 different audio ads a year with Omnicom's newly created AI solution. Sara makes the important point here that this innovation also reduces costs by at least 50%. You can hear about other use cases and how project "S.A.R.A." works in the current episode!

AI Audio Becomes A Hyperlocal Marketing Tool

Companies are looking for new ways to innovate regional marketing. This can be seen, for example, in the reduction of marketing print products such as the flyer at REWE or the IKEA catalog. In addition, the audio market has now been comprehensively developed via programmatic advertising.

‍At the same time, the topic of synthetic voices & sound is playing an increasingly important role and has already found use in the entertainment industry with several use cases. This makes it even more important to think about how a brand should sound and which voice suits the brand and target group.

‍According to Sara, the buzzword here is "Sonic Branding", as any brand can now clone an AI voice at the touch of a button to create dynamic audio files. In our podcast, we go into more detail about this and talk about how exactly a voice can be cloned. Suppose brands are now quick to recognize this innovation for themselves and their communication goals.

In that case, there are real opportunities to establish themselves auditorily in new communication channels and clearly stand out from the competition.

AI Alone Does Not Make Innovation

Raphael makes it clear that innovations such as Project "S.A.R.A" must be lived and actively shaped from all areas of the company, and also states clearly: "Innovation culture is something that an AI alone cannot yet create".

‍Benjamin is certain: The role of artificial intelligence and audio will continue to grow and the development is also driven by agencies, as this podcast points out. The future of audio will remain exciting and innovative. This is evident in examples like that of the fictional conversation between Steve Jobs, who died in 2011, and podcast maker Joe Rogan.

‍The Podcast.ai platform was able to artificially create both voices using the Play.ht voice generator to create a mimicked but real-sounding conversation. The platform creates these types of podcasts every week based on guests/topics listeners can request.

About Omnicom Media Group Germany

Omnicom Media Group Germany is part of Omnicom, a global leader in Communication, Advertising and Marketing Services. With its agencies OMD, PHD and Hearts & Science, the group includes three relevant and fast-growing media agency networks.

In Germany, Omnicom agencies support and advise more than 200 well-known companies in the areas of strategy, communication, media planning and purchasing as well as optimization and research.

Omnicom Media Group Germany has more than 1,800 employees at seven German locations.

LISTEN TO THE LET'S MAKE LEMONADE PODCAST

Much more than just Text-to-Speech

Quick, scalable, and affordable, in 2022, digital audio production needs to be all of these things.

‍Whether it’s basic Text-to-Speech tasks or fully realised complex audio projects that integrate music and multiple voices, Aflorithmic is the go-to source. You don’t even need previous experience tackling the task at hand.

READ THE PRESS RELEASE

About AudioStack

AudioStack is a technology company based in London and Barcelona. Its platform enables fully automated, scalable audio production using text-to-speech, voice cloning, and AI-driven post-production. 

The team consists of highly skilled specialists in machine learning, software development, speech synthesis, AI research, audio engineering,and product development.

Together with OMG, the AI voice Sara was developed, which could now be heard for the first time in the podcast.

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