Digital Audio is on the Rise – Should it be Part of Your Media Spend?


When you think of digital audio as an advertising medium, are you giving it serious thought or are you still looking at it as a bonus or add-on to your current campaigns? When digital audio advertising first emerged as a companion to terrestrial radio, a lot of reps were just adding it in as a bonus to schedules just to fill the commercial breaks, so a lot of media buyers and marketing professionals didn’t really value it the way it should have been. Now the digital audio landscape is robust, with streaming-only platforms, radio station companion streaming and podcasts, so if you’re not giving digital audio enough consideration, here are some great reasons to add it to your advertising mix.

Growth Of The Medium

While other mediums have stayed flat or even dropped over the last 10 years, digital audio listening has grown almost 40%, with almost two-thirds of the American public tuning in each week (Insider Intelligence). Pre-pandemic in the 2010s, people started listening to radio on their computers while they were at the office, tuning in to their favorite programs online. Then, the last two years have shown 7% of that overall growth, which makes sense as more people were at home during COVID and were listening to streaming audio and podcasts as they did their daily activities at home and in their cars. Over the past 10 years, podcast listening has also risen 27%, further bolstering the digital audio medium (Pew Research). People can now listen to programs and stations that originate from anywhere, providing them thousands of options of content from which they can choose. So many providers are in the space now, including digital-only platforms like Spotify, Pandora, YouTube Music and Amazon Music, as well as companies that offer traditional and digital audio, like iHeart and Audacy. Plus, as Millennials and Gen Z push further into adulthood, they have really pushed mobile-first/only as the device they’re using for all their needs, with 74% of Millennials and 78% of Gen Z saying their mobile device was the most important (Business Of Apps). 

This is also one of the reasons that we’ve seen the rise of OTT/Digital Video as a medium over the past 10 years. 

On-Demand Listening

The ease of listening to what you want, when you want and where you want makes digital audio services very attractive to people. With over 850,000 spoken word podcasts (Neal Schaffer) that have over 48 million episodes, there is premium content on-demand whenever your listeners are ready. These podcasts also create longevity for listeners, as new episodes are added often, and that keeps people coming back. People gain the ability to listen any time to stations on Pandora that play music from specific decades or specific genres of music and playlists that you can create on Spotify/YouTube Music and enjoy whenever you’re in the mood for those specific songs. Because of those factors, digital audio has the volume and breadth of content that keeps users coming back time after time. 

Appointment Listening

People still love listening to local radio and broadcasts. Whether it’s music, the local news, events in the area or their favorite local DJs, people are still tuning in to stay connected with their communities. Local radio still reaches 92% of the U.S. population, which is even higher than TV (Media Tracks). 

With local radio stations offering the ability to still listen to local broadcasts while people are online, this gives you the perfect opportunity to reach your potential customers in a cost-efficient way. People like to tune in to what they’re familiar with, and they trust their local stations more than national ones, especially when it comes to news radio stations (Statista). Advertising on local radio shows that your customers’ love can immediately generate a positive perception for your brand as they associate it with their favorite local entertainment. Other strong appointment listening can include events and professional sports broadcasts, particularly Major League Baseball since the season is in the summer. That means people are watching it while they’re enjoying the weather — in their backyards, out on the water or wherever else they have an internet signal.

Added Value

Most of the time when you purchase any online audio advertising, you also get a free 300×250 companion display banner ad that runs on the website when your commercial airs, so you end up getting two impressions for the price of one, with one of those linking out to your website. These banners help bridge the gap between awareness and consideration, driving potential customers to your website to start reviewing your products. 

Reach Out For Help

Still want to learn more? If you need help navigating digital audio advertising or other paid media opportunities for your brand, Brandon can help with all your digital and traditional media placement needs. Contact us today to get started.

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