< Journal
13th January 2023

Audio’s having a moment. This is why your marketing budget should be spent on audio advertising

Audio’s having a moment. This is why your marketing budget should be spent on audio advertising

Consumers today have a natural muscle to ignore digital media. Let that sink in!

Whether earned, owned or paid, we see ads everywhere. And now, we hear them everywhere. But while audio ads are not a new phenomenon, they are growing in popularity. So where does the opportunity lie for both brands and marketers to incorporate audio ads into their marketing budgets and strategies?

Research shows that 74% of people set aside time in their day to listen to audio content such as digital radio, audiobooks, and podcasts. Podcast popularity shows no sign of slowing down either, with 86% of Gen Z saying they regularly listen to podcasts*. Several sources report that “podcast ad spending will double by 2024, growing to over $4 billion. This is huge compared to the $1.4 billion spent in 2021 and $2 billion in 2022, pointing to a healthy growth trajectory for podcasting as an effective ad medium” **.

Brands have the opportunity to reach an engaged, mobile audience and according to an Edison report, 76% say they have visited a website or made a purchase after hearing an ad on a podcast***. This demonstrates that consumers trust their podcast hosts and are more likely to pay attention to their brand endorsements, therefore allowing brands to benefit from increasing brand awareness and engagement.

But digital audio content is not limited to podcast, music streaming platforms or radio. With the growing popularity of smart speakers such as Google Assist or Amazon’s Alexa/Echo, there’s a huge opportunity for brands to serve audio ads during a consumer’s voice search and to a much larger audience. Google reported that 27% of the global population now uses voice search on their mobile devices*****. And, from what our team heard at CES this year, voice AI will not only dominate in a consumer’s home, but in your car when you’re out on the road too (read more about that here before we digress!).

We understand audio advertising, but what are programmatic audio ads?
Like programmatic digital ads, and to give an explanation as simple as possible, programmatic audio ads deliver targeted, real-time adverts to a listener based on their behavior and location. It uses your target audience data, and AI technologies to evaluate each individual listener, so that advertisers can bid, real time and compete to serve that particular consumer, their ad. These are usually pre-recorded, 15-30 seconds ads and its down to the brand to choose the right voice and ad slot to make the ad as memorable as possible and leave a lasting impression.*****

To date, programmatic audio ads have been widely adopted by DTC brands, however, research shows that categories like retail and finance are spending more money on podcast ads*****. We predict that we will start to see a shift in the upcoming years of which brands & industries use this form of advertising, as it begins to become even more saturated and unfortunately, expensive. It will be interesting to see which brands take their advertising $ elsewhere.

We’re not suggesting you scrap everything and put all your $ into audio, but by supplementing your marketing mix with audio advertising, it will only amplify the multi-channel effect. And as the lines between podcast, video and social get hazier and harder to define, our advice to brands would be to get smart and creative about how to generate high-quality content that can be used across multiple platforms, but content that’s clearly edited & differentiated for each one.

We always recommend getting to know the channels that work with your audience and meet them where they tell you they’re at, not where you think they’re at. This shouldn’t be a one and done piece of audience research either – regular research will allow you and your brand to stay on top of platform changes and shifts in consumer behavior.

* https://grapeseedmedia.com/blog/the-beginners-guide-to-podcast-advertising/
*** https://www.edisonresearch.com/edison-research-published-studies-of-2021/