Let’s start with what exactly is digital audio? Digital audio encompasses all audio that we access online, be it on mobile or desktop or anywhere else. Everything from online radio, station aggregator services, music streaming, audio-books and podcasts fall under the digital audio umbrella.
The fastest growing area is podcasts. In terms of ad spend, since 2016, Radio spend has remained the same whereas podcast ad spend has increased nearly 6 fold.
Podcasting is currently the fastest growing medium out there and rising rapidly. 37% of people in Ireland have listened to a podcast in the last month. 85% of podcast listening is happening on Mobile. Podcasts are entirely on-demand sought out content. With the large numbers of podcasts available in the world no one is stuck listening to one because ‘it’s the only thing on.’
Audio has an ‘intimacy effect’ and this is very real regarding podcasts, with listeners usually feeling that they have a personal connection to the host. This relationship between host and listeners is where the magic happens regarding podcasting as an advertising channel. From IAB research 70% of podcast listeners agreed that products and services they learn about on podcasts are relevant to their interests. 55% expressed a positive sentiment toward podcast ads consisting of the host(s) mentioning products or services.
Podcasts are popular in particular because they are always on-demand. Studies show that 70% of people deemed it ‘very important’ that they be able to listen to audio both wherever and whenever they wanted. Due to the fact podcasts are a time-shifted medium; listeners can download an episode and listen to it 5 minutes or 5 years after it was published.
Generally, people who like podcasts, talk about them. ‘’96% [of those surveyed] said they had recommended a podcast to a friend’’ and that ‘’word of mouth was the primary means for podcast discovery for these respondents.’’
Demographically, males make up 54% of digital audio listeners with females at 46%.
Listening to digital audio is more accessible than ever before with advancing technology. Digital audio can be accessed on any number of apps from Apple podcasts, Stitcher, Spotify, TuneIn. Cars are now built for accessing audio on the road and home entertainment speakers are increasing in use. The BBC is even jumping on the podcast train with their sound offering; labeling music, radio and podcasts on equal footing.
Podcasts are becoming involved with mainstream franchises such as how Dirty John began as a podcast and later joined Netflix. Nightly shows such Love Island had a number of dedicated daily podcasts as well as Game of Thrones to discuss the finale season.
It’s been said that asking someone ‘Have you listened to My Dad Wrote a Porno?’ is the new version of asking someone if they watch Game of Thrones.
We are entering the era of voice over touch. Currently over 40% of homes in the US have voice activated devices and 41% of US adults use voice search daily. 10% of all listening consumption comes from voice activated speakers in the UK. A large amount of people interact with audio through streaming services and podcasts without listening to any live radio making these a seemingly ‘unreachable’ audience by traditional audio means.
Podcasting is a truly immersive environment with engaged listeners. Users typically spend approximately 10 seconds on a web-page, 2 minutes with a video and 26 minutes on average with a podcast. Podcasts have the added benefit of being within a low ad environment. In a podcast of average 40 minutes, there will be a max of 3 ads. Compare this to FM radio, where in 40 minutes you will hear 13 30 second ads totaling 6.5 minutes of ads.
According to RedC‘s report, 66% of all adults in Ireland listen to digital audio. Of this 2.3 million people approx., 44% listen to on demand music, 44% listen to live radio online. 9% of these listeners don’t listen to any traditional FM Radio and a further 29% listen to traditional radio for less than 2 hours a week.
On average listeners listen to 13.6 hours of digital audio per week.
18-24 year olds listen to the most digital audio, averaging 25.1 hours per week, primarily spent with on-demand music streaming. 18-34 year olds are spending more time listening to podcasts than Live FM which gives a strong indication of how podcasts are taking over the market.
Music, News, Sports and Comedy are the most popular genres of podcasts. 59% of people listen to News and Politics podcasts weekly but when dealing with over 55s this figure rises to 75%. 34% of all listeners listen to Comedy/Arts & Entertainment podcasts and with 18-34 year olds this rises to 43%.
‘’Audio is one of the most intimate forms of media because you are constantly building your own images of the story in your mind … you’re creating your own production. And that of course, is something that you can never get with visual media.’’ – Professor Emma Rodero
Podcasts run ads typically before the show, in the middle and at the end. These are generally 30 second specially crafted digital ads that slot in to the show. The real shining opportunity with podcasts is the host read sponsorship. This lets the presenter speak personally about your brand and gives the audience a trusted recommendation.
9% of people who consume digital audio don’t listen to any live radio and use Spotify premium accounts meaning that these are part of the seemingly unreachable audience. However, with podcast advertising this barrier is broken down even with Spotify premium users.
Digital Audio is here to stay. To find out more get in touch here: