Brand marketers have long understood the power of audio messaging to connect with audiences. Whether delivered in a music, news, sports or political talk environment, the use of audio ads is experiencing a renaissance as advertisers take advantage of digital offerings that provide listeners with greater choice, control and customization of their experience. The result is a highly personal and exclusive advertising experience that creates a natural opportunity for brand alignment.
Such an alignment makes digital audio a powerful tool for just about any marketer looking to reach virtually any type of audience. Here are 5 reasons that digital audio should be a part of every marketer’s media mix:
1. Digital Audio is exclusive.
The digital audio market represents an environment with generally fewer advertising interruptions, while providing similar deep targeting capabilities as other digital ad units. Exclusively available within an audio content experience, digital audio ads are often native and “above the fold”, and given their nature, often have a very high share of voice.
“Marketers are rapidly discovering the premium and exclusive nature of digital audio advertising. Appreciation is growing for many of digital audio’s unique and exclusive attributes such as its limited ad quantity, ads targeted one to one and delivered one at a time and ads delivered within an experience that is audio centric. As the migration toward digital continues, marketers will increasingly rely on this channel to reach young, affluent, and on the go consumers.”
Mike Agovino, Executive Vice Chairman, PodcastOne, Co-chair of IAB Digital Audio Committee (and formerly of Triton Digital)
Marketers are rapidly discovering the premium and exclusive nature of digital audio advertising.
2. Digital Audio is becoming a “mobile-first” experience for many.
The speed with which connected mobile devices have proliferated over the last few years is having a profound impact on consumer consumption of audio content. In fact, streaming radio comes out as a top activity for smartphones users, according to 2014 research by comScore and Millennial Media.
Digital audio’s mobile ascendency began by adding new listening contexts. Enabled by “earbuds”, consumers were freed to listen during an array of activities traditionally void of audio companionship. The growth trajectory has increased as historical audio contexts like in-office and at-home have been disrupted by simple-to-use and more personalized experiences delivered through a broad variety of devices.
Most recently, digital audio has gained traction as an in-vehicle choice, and as consumers turn to newer models at all pricing tiers they are finding connected technology a key differentiator in the car-purchase process. Simply put, in-car access leads to significant behavior change.
Car makers everywhere recognize that drivers and passengers want to move their smartphone listening experience into the car.
“Car makers everywhere recognize that drivers and passengers want to move their smartphone listening experience into the car. Today, nearly 40% of all 25-54 year-olds have enjoyed that experience. With the latest innovations in dashboard connectivity, that number will only trend higher.”
Doug Sterne, VP of Audio Development at Pandora and Co-chair of IAB Digital Audio Committee
3. Digital Audio is cool, because the consumer is now in control.
Just about everyone seems to have chatted about Serial around the water cooler these past few months. Even well known musician and Oscar-winning actor Jared Leto told IAB’s 2014 MIXX audience all about what the power of sound has meant to him as an individual, and as a musician.
As a consumer, audio has always provided a broad range of content offerings that cater to whatever mood you might be in. Today’s digital audio offerings build on that value proposition by offering listeners the freedom to select what to hear and when they want to listen, to match their moods.
Maybe you’re into the latest podcasts on relationships, your favorite baseball team, or the latest episodic craze. Maybe you’re jammin’ to that fresh new indie-pop station you found over the weekend, or you’re feeling introspective listening to the remastered Dark Side of The Moon in its entirety.
With mobile poised to become the device-of-choice for accessing audio content, such content becomes an extension of your mood and builds a background to your day. Underwriting such essential components to consumers’ lives can create impressive lifts in awareness, sales, and changes to long-held preferences.
4. Digital Audio is growing like crazy.
As audio consumption shifts from AM/FM radios to smartphones and connected devices, the demand for digital audio is growing rapidly. Edison Research and Triton Digital’s Infinite Dial 2015 study showed that 143 Million Americans listened to online radio and streamed audio content in the past month, including 61% of all 25-54 year-olds. Digital audio has not only arrived; it has become a mainstream media.
5. Digital Audio compliments any media plan.
For marketers, digital audio provides a necessary, unique, highly measurable and highly accountable component of the media mix.
Mobile audio also has a distinct advantage over other media because it can easily be consumed while on the go. “Ultramobile” activities such as driving, walking, exercising and working don’t allow for visual advertising engagement.
In fact, Nielsen estimates that 79% of audio consumption takes place while people are engaged in activities where visual media cannot reach them. Such opportunities now create scale with millennials on their own, or in combination with legacy audio choices for broader demographics.
The IAB, along with members of the Digital Audio Committee, have pursued a goal of educating marketers and agencies about digital audio advertising opportunities, and discussing best practices and guidelines for reducing operational costs while driving sector growth. With the release of today’s IAB Digital Audio Buyer’s Guide, we aim to dive further into these points and answer questions that creatives, planners and buyers have about investment in digital audio advertising.