Audio and podcasts. Old or maybe new kids on the block?

In recent years audio has been constantly growing and the stats prove its effectiveness in advertising.

Audio is one of the oldest ad formats. The first radio ad was paid for in 1922 by AT&T, America’s leading telecom company and then in 1926 General Mills released the first radio jingle.

100 year later, audio is doing well and developing dynamically although more new media and marketing channels have come onto the market over the years. New audio formats such as podcasts are becoming increasingly popular, and as the number of audio content increases, so does the audience. Podcast listenership in the UK is expected to exceed more than 25 million by 2024 compared to 13 million in 2019.

Total digital audio listenership in the UK is forecast to exceed 40 million by 2024 – up from 36 million in 2019. The market share of digital music and podcast streaming services in the UK doubled in 2022 from 8% to 20%. Nielsen’s research states that audio ads had a 24% higher recall rate than display ads and were twice as likely to increase the number of purchase decisions.

According to Statista, in 2006 in the United States, only 22% of the adult population was aware of podcasting, yet by 2021 this figure had risen to 78% and there were an estimated 120 million podcast listeners in the country. Forecasts suggest that the number of podcast listeners in the US will hit 160 million in 2023 after increases of around 20 million each year.

The facts speak for themselves, and it’s worth paying attention to audio ads. This is an opportunity for marketers to reach consumers anywhere, at any time, about any topic. Companies can also start their own podcasts to showcase the innovation and solutions they provide, which can help position their brands as thought leaders in the industry.

Audio, as an advertising channel, is widely appreciated by marketers and included in many marketing budgets. In the current economic climate, the growing costs of television advertising will encourage advertisers to turn to audio advertising which is cheaper and thus an easily available alternative.

Audio and podcast advertising can be an effective tactic in your marketing strategy, as it can raise awareness among target consumers, especially if the ads are seamlessly incorporated into the content and are relevant to the podcast or audio stream. Audio formats will continue to boom in 2023 and beyond.

What else will marketers be talking about in 2023?

  • Programmatic everywhere. CTV, OTT, DOOH and Audio.

Web-connected devices like Smart TVs, game consoles, and monitors became more popular after the pandemic. As a result, more brands and advertisers adopted programmatic CTV advertising. More people than ever have access to CTV and that’s why Programmatic CTV ads have become popular in recent years. 

Statista estimates the number of consumers who use OTT and CTV ads will reach nearly 4 billion by 2026.

Digital out-of-home advertising has been a major outdoor ad strategy in recent years. Advertisers utilise electronic billboards and other outdoor digital display channels to deliver ads. Agencies are now calculating their carbon footprint across the entire media ecosystem. However, there is an increasing discussion about energy consumption and CO2 emissions through various forms of advertising. According to The Drum: “Research from Cavai estimates that the average online ad impression emits the same amount of carbon dioxide (CO2) into the atmosphere as driving an electric car between 0.4 to 9.65m, watching a 40 inch $K OLED TV between 1.5 to 35 seconds, or having a LED light bulb on between 30 and 700 seconds.”

Digital billboards and the entire DOOH sector are facing a huge challenge and the industry is already looking for solutions to the problem of high energy consumption. They need to make billboards more sustainable so that this advertising channel can continue to develop dynamically.

Now audio programmatic has its time to shine. Digital audio content is attracting a huge audience, and as it grows, advertisers also follow suit. Programmatic audio ads enable brands to reach their target audience at the right time and in a highly engaging way. Programmatic buying also saves marketers time and budget. They can buy a large number of ads in the selected media at lower rates than by contacting publishers individually. No wonder advertisers have started taking advantage of this niche to programmatically target users. Brands are increasingly looking to incorporate programmatic audio ads into their marketing strategies. For marketers, it will be important this year to be more adaptable and willing to test additional ad formats, such as audio and digital out-of-home.

  • Mobile gaming

As of 2022, 5.34 billion people worldwide have a mobile phone; that’s 66.9% of the total global population! Worldwide, internet users spend 55.5% of their time online on smartphones and the global average daily smartphone usage is 3 hours 43 minutes. 

In-game audio is reaching astronomical heights, with 85% of mobile gaming audiences listening to in-game audio ads from start to finish. This follows a 30% increase in the budget allocated to digital audio marketing on mobile devices, the web, and other content online, according to MMG’s study of online brands.

Audio ads in gaming are less intrusive than other ads, allowing users to carry on enjoying their game without negatively impacting the customer experience. Additionally, mobile gamers as a demographic are actively engaged, so they are more likely to recall brand messaging in addition to being more open to making purchases. With a global market of 5.34 billion potential customers, and with mobile gaming gaining traction in more corners of the globe than ever before, it is worth revisiting your marketing strategy and exploring in-app audio advertising as a monetisation stream for your brand or inventory. 

  • Metaverse forges its future with huge financial outlays.

Nearly three-quarters of US adult internet users agreed it will take them a while to understand how to use and join the metaverse. 64% said they won’t engage in the metaverse if it’s hard to figure out or use according to an August 2022 Sitecore survey.

There were high hopes for the metaverse, but it looks like there’s still time before this technology is perfected. Metaverse platforms need time to teach consumers how to use them. Similarly, marketers must learn how to present their brand in a new, virtual environment.

This advertising space will not be available to the average marketer from a small to medium company or a start-up in the near future. For most marketers advertising in the metaverse will be like a flight to Mars, unattainable for many years to come.

This topic can be discussed in more detail at the beginning of next year. Time will tell whether there will be any significant progress or breakthroughs in this area.

  • Purpose-driven marketing.

Purpose-driven marketing involves an organisation’s marketing and communications efforts around a social cause. This strategy keeps businesses responsible for the environment and humanises them. Climate action, sustainable development, and initiatives for various social groups are becoming more and more common in companies.

Brands and marketers face many challenges this year and they have to both stay up-to-date with current trends and explore new options. Despite this, it may turn out to be a breakthrough year. Each crisis gives new opportunities for creativity and innovation not only in technology but also in all areas of business and life. 

Continue reading to learn more about what to focus your marketing on this year and discover how to navigate the post-cookie era.

Get in touch with our team to learn more about our B2B audio programmatic services.