Octave Audio, the joint venture from U.K. radio operators Bauer Media and News UK’s Wireless, has turned to a podcast host who has worked in both audio advertising and creation to lead its podcast sales efforts. Matthew Rouse has been hired as Podcast Lead for Octave Audio. In his new position Rouse will spearhead the development of Octave Podcasts, which is an ad sales arm for its two parent companies.

Rouse joins from Acast where since last year he has worked as a campaign manager working with brands. He previously spent time as an audio advertising specialist at the advertising agency Mindshare. Prior to that he bought audio ads while working at agencies Universal McCann and Initiative.

“Matt is expertly placed to drive Octave Podcasts forward, bridging the gap between advertisers and premium podcast audiences,” said Charlie Brookes, Director of Revenue at Octave in the announcement. “With his extensive audio experience, I’m looking forward to pooling our knowledge to see where we can take this project. With Octave’s premium inventory, the advertising possibilities are virtually endless.”

In addition to his work on the buy side of the audio equation, Rouse also has experience as a creator. He hosts the music-focused House Culture podcast where he sits down with artists, DJs, promoters and club owners to talk about the world of house music.

“Having worked in audio since 2006, I am excited about using my blend of knowledge and experience to develop Octave Podcasts,” said Rouse. “As a podcast creator myself, I’m hugely passionate about this medium that delivers a trusted environment for brands, directly into the ears of highly engaged audiences.” 

Meantime, Octave Audio has just released a new neuro research study it has produced in a partnership with Say It Now and Xaxis. The findings highlight the powerful potential of interactive smart speaker ads, increasing electrical activity in the brain and strengthening brand awareness. Among the key findings:

  • Branded smart speaker ads trigger a 25% increase in overall brain activity when compared to branding in standard audio ads
  • Engaging in a conversation with an ad via a voice assistant makes branding moments 11% more memorable
  • Voicing a brand’s name back to a smart speaker generates a 30% uplift in overall levels of brain response compared to a standard audio ad
  • Interactive ads evoke 2.3x more left-brain memory peaks in comparison to standard audio ads

Download a report on the study HERE.