10 years of Dax: A ‘game-changer’ in audio advertising

10 years of Dax: A ‘game-changer’ in audio advertising

Global’s Digital Ad Exchange, Dax, launched 10 years ago, delivering its first digitally inserted radio ad in June 2014.

The context at the time was nascent growth in podcast and music streaming, alongside innovation in the US, particularly through the Pandora, which is now part of SiriusXM.

Dax’s vision was to provide one place for advertisers to buy digital audio inventory and it later brought in targeting and measurement solutions, as well as programmatic outdoor advertising.

Ollie Deane, who led the team that set up Dax (and left Global in 2021 to co-found The GoodNet), told The Media Leader: “It’s pretty revolutionary if you look back in terms of what it’s done in the last 10 years.”

He added that, broadly, Dax saw Global go from a media and entertainment business to a media, entertainment and tech business, allowing audio to adopt many digital practices from video and display.

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Emma Moorhead, head of channel planning at Wavemaker and head of audio at the agency when Dax launched, agreed it was “completely revolutionary”.

She told The Media Leader: “As the digital audio market was emerging, led by what was already quite a strong but fragmented US market, Dax became a consolidated route to market that allowed a traditionally mass medium to be truly audience first, at scale, across the same premium audio content, and more.”

Flora Williams, head of planning at Manning Gottlieb OMD, called Dax “a game-changer for the audio advertising market”.

She explained: “It was the first fully packaged proposition that bridged the gap between linear radio and digital audio, which has ultimately changed the way we now plan audio.”

Here are some of the biggest milestones in Dax’s history.



Idea for a digital audio exchange was first discussed at Global and a team of four is set up to start work on it.

Global partners with AdsWizz on the ability to insert ads into live breaks and testing begins.


11.20am, 2 June

GoCompare is the first brand to use Dax to deliver a live radio ad.

The other 11 launch advertisers are: 20th Century Fox, Asda, Costa, eBay, EE, Heinz, Lexus, Nando’s, Philips, Vodafone and Virgin Media.

Dax provides access to inventory from more than 30 premium digital music platforms including Bauer Media and third-party platforms like Spotify.

Global Radio launches new ad platform

Is Digital Audio Exchange a game-changer for radio?


Global adds programmatic audio to Dax.



Amazon introduces its Alexa smart speaker in the UK.


Global launches an audio measurement solution called “Listener ID” through Dax.

Advertisers could measure the effectiveness of their campaigns on digital audio platforms including SoundCloud, AudioBoom, Global’s Heart, Capital and Radio X, and Bauer Media’s Kiss.

DAX introduces new audio measurement



Dax enables the first digital OOH and audio syncing before launching its own outdoor businesses the following year.


Global buys Audio HQ and takes Dax to the US.


Global Player, the on-demand app for radio, podcasts, playlists and videos, is rolled out.



Global acquires LeanStream and rolls out Dax in Canada.

Following approval from the Competition & Markets Authority, Global launches an outdoor division after the acquisition of Primesight, Outdoor Plus and Exterion Media.



Global delivers ads through Dax in 3D sound.


Bauer Media takes inventory off Dax to relaunch its own ad platform, InStream.

Bauer Media ditches DAX and relaunches InStream


Global announces the imminent launch of Dax Cross Device, an audio measurement tool that will allow advertisers to reach more people across smartphones, tablets and desktops, as well as a new podcast measurement solution.

DAX to launch cross-device measurement tool for audio

Dax agrees an exclusive deal with Endemol Shine Group for its commercial podcast portfolio, including host-read adssponsorship messages and spot ads — programmatic and direct.

DAX and Endemol enter podcast advertising partnership



Dax adds programmatic outdoor and changes its full name from Digital Audio Exchange to Digital Ad Exchange.

Global to rebrand DAX as it adds outdoor to audio offering


Dax reaches an agreement with Reach to be its exclusive third-party sales representative for its network of podcasts.


Global builds its own tech stack for Dax.



Global adds London Underground and National Rail to Dax.

Global adds London Underground & National Rail to DAX



Global makes “strategic investment” in Odeeo, a mobile gaming audio advertising tech startup. Dax becomes its exclusive ad sales partner in the UK and the US.

Global enters in-game audio advertising space


Global launches programmatic outdoor on the Elizabeth line through Dax.

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Global and iHeartMedia (the biggest audio company in the US) agree an exclusive platform distribution and ad sales deal covering the UK, Ireland and the US. The agreement makes iHeartPodcasts available in Dax.



Global launches a cookie-free measurement solution for digital audio that works across all devices and environments.

Global to launch ID solution across all devices and environments

Music streaming company Deezer agrees an exclusive ad sales deal with Global, meaning all of its online and in-app audio content is integrated into Dax.

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