Ad Opportunities Are Aplenty With Digital Audio Consumption Up

More people across all age groups are tuning in to digital audio content, such as music and podcasts. For advertisers, this presents an opportunity to connect with consumers in an emotional and contextually relevant way, according to new research from Adobe.

Adobe’s “Perspective on Digital Advertising” research is based on a February 2019 survey of 1,000 adult consumers in the United States, as well as 500 marketing and advertising business decision makers. 

Consumers surveyed report that they listen to one to five hours of music or podcasts per week, with the majority doing so on their mobile devices, the study found. A small portion said they listen for 11 or more hours per week, while one-fifth never listen to digital audio content at all. Baby Boomers are much more likely than other generations to fall into this latter category, with 37% reporting they do not ever listen to digital audio content.

“As people begin to get more comfortable with consuming audio content, most leading brands are following suit,” said Keith Eadie, VP, Adobe Advertising Cloud. “We see an opportunity emerging to deliver context-aware, targeted audio ads that can have greater standout, higher recall, and better engagement than more traditional methods of advertising. Right now is a great time to experiment with audio ads, since the space isn’t yet cluttered."

In addition, the report found about one-quarter of consumers said they intend to spend more time listening to podcasts and other digital audio content over the next year. Also notable: Almost one-third said they will spend more time using voice-activated speakers to listen to music or podcasts. This is why 61% of surveyed organizations said they plan to increase their investments in digital audio advertising by as much as 35% in the coming year.

So who exactly is spending more time listening to digital content? Unsurprisingly, the younger generations, specifically Millennial and Generation Z consumers. According to the report, 50% are listening to digital audio at home while cooking, cleaning, and doing other such activities.

As for the impact of audio advertising, about a quarter of those surveyed said they have “sometimes” or “often” bought a product/service after hearing an ad on a streaming music app or website. However, half of the respondents said they never have; it’s more common for consumers to have searched for product details after hearing an audio ad, with about one-third sometimes or often doing this, the report stated.

Consumers are discovering new music and podcasts via recommendations from friends and family and from browsing online. Social media also is a common source of discovery.

“Data-driven audio advertising has already delivered substantial impact for some brands,” Adobe’s Eadie told CMO by Adobe. "Audio allows brands to hyper-personalize messaging and target key listening segments in new and exciting ways.”

The “Perspective on Digital Advertising” research demonstrates that marketers shouldn’t just focus on video when it comes to digital advertising. People are, in fact, listening to digital audio, and, Eadie added, their consumption of this content format is expected to increase.

“Companies looking to create a holistic cross-channel advertising strategy would truly miss out if they do not incorporate digital audio ads into the mix," Eadie said.

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