While terrestrial radio is very much alive and still offers many benefits to marketers, it won’t be long before the average US adult will spend more time listening to digital audio than radio. Digital audio is an attractive medium for advertisers to effectively reach consumers who enjoy several types of audio content on multiple devices and platforms. As with most new media channels, digital audio became a popular media choice for many D2C brands. In 2016, direct response made up 73.0% of US podcast revenues, but that figure dipped to 51.6% as D2C brands have taken advantage of this top performing acquisition channel. As reach, scale and targeting abilities evolve, so too have the list of emerging and established brands. Looking for a refresher on what digital audio advertising can accomplish for your product or service? Keep reading.
What is Digital Audio?
Let’s first consider that most audio was typically delivered via terrestrial radio, aka over-the-air (OTA) radio stations. Digital audio is any audio content distributed via digital means. So, think streaming radio, music or podcasts on your mobile device, smart TVs/speakers or in your car.
Why Digital Audio Advertising?
We include digital audio in our media strategy because audio messages provide value and offer a personalized experience. Consumers are increasingly more engaged on some devices like mobile apps and smart speakers, which in turn is growing digital audio’s reach.
A digital audio strategy can fit nicely into most media plans. It’s a cost-effective, high-frequency medium that is measurable and highly targetable (audience, location, etc.). For example, we recently had to reach listeners in a specific county (not an entire market). Implementing a digital audio strategy allowed us to reduce media waste and more effectively reach desired listeners (vs. using a broader reach terrestrial radio buy).
Who Are the Leaders in Digital Audio?
Are you a dedicated listener on one of these platforms? Most likely you (and your consumers!) are. Although Pandora is leading the pack, in 2021, Spotify is expected to surpass Pandora’s listener penetration. And according to Edison Research, the percentage of US podcast listeners jumped 5 percentage points between 2018 and 2019, making it one of the fastest-growing audio formats.
Smart marketers are following digital audio trends like these and finding ways to test digital audio in their campaigns and promotions.