How audio fits into your marketing mix

by Kristen Majewski

The number of Americans who listen to streaming audio has doubled since 2012, which is no surprise considering that much of the world’s digital audio catalog is now in the palm of your hand. But it’s not just the music and podcasts on our phones that we’re listening to, there’s also been a massive increase in both in-car¹ and smart-speaker² streaming across 2018. That’s the thing about audio: it goes with us everywhere — from the moment we wake up to the moment we go to bed, and even while we’re dreaming.

Unlike visual media, audio can be our constant companion. It moves with us whether we’re on the treadmill, cooking dinner, hosting friends, playing video games, cleaning up, driving somewhere, studying, or working. We call these screenless moments. In fact, 64% of Americans between the ages of 15 and 38 say not only can they multitask while listening, but that audio makes them more productive.³ Audio doesn’t just accompany our screenless moments, it enhances them.

And speaking of visual media, screen exhaustion is real. Our recent trend survey told us that 56% of Gen Zs and millennials agree there’s too much visual stimulation, and audio offers a nice escape from that.⁴ So if you’re not advertising on audio, you’re missing the opportunity to have a 1-on-1 conversation with consumers in key moments throughout their day.

Audio is also memorable, which is essential considering it’s estimated that people see somewhere between 4,000-10,000 ads a day.⁵ This makes your challenge of effectively connecting with your target audience and delivering the right message, in the right context even more difficult. But audio ads help you break through that clutter, driving an 81% lift in ad recall⁵ and 26% lift in brand awareness.⁶

Of course, while audio goes with us everywhere, it’s likely not the only media your target audience is consuming. Tap into screenless moments most effectively by complementing your audio ad campaigns with other formats like search and social. This holistic approach helps amplify and reinforce your message as consumers encounter it across platforms throughout their day.

It’s important to keep in mind that your audio ad campaign results will be different that the results of your visual campaigns. Audio is unique in that it’s streamed in different contexts throughout the day, screenless moments where listeners may not be able to take action in the moment they hear your ad. To better understand the impact of your ad, don’t overemphasize clicks or compare to other non-audio platforms. Instead, focus on unique reach and frequency of your ads served.

If you’re not convinced about audio yet, we challenge you to think about the future. What do you think the audio landscape will look like in a few years from now? We have some ideas. Nearly a third of all podcasts currently in circulation launched in 2018⁷ — and they’re more popular than ever before. On Spotify, we’re seeing that podcast consumption doesn’t take away from music — it’s additive engagement. People who add podcasts to their mix stream more than twice as much audio on a daily basis than those who listen to music alone.⁸ Appetites for audio in all its forms are only expanding. Welcome to the new golden age of audio.

  1. 1Spotify First Party Data, Global, January 2018-January 2019
  2. 2Voicebot Smart Speaker Consumer Adoption Report, January 2019
  3. 3Spotify trend survey among 4,000 respondents 15-37 globally [U.S., MX, BR, FR, DE, U.K., PH, AU], February 2019
  4. 4Spotify trend survey among 4,000 respondents 15-37 globally [U.S., MX, BR, FR, DE, U.K., PH, AU], February 2019
  5. 5Forbes Agency Council, 2017, daily average estimate
  6. 6Spotify Nielsen Brand Effect Benchmarks US April 2019
  7. 7Chartable, March 2019
  8. 8Spotify First Party Data, Free Users, November 2018