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Audio Killed the Video Star?


In the world of marketing, there are countless ways to have your advertising message sent and delivered. With the constant emergence of new technology, apps and ways to address your audience, it can become an assault on the senses for anyone who is receiving an ad. 

Many people become accustomed to “tuning out” the ads they experience daily even though subconsciously they are aware. The struggle then becomes: How does an advertiser effectively reach their target audience and encourage them to act? 

Video advertising always gets the spotlight and gets talked about as the best way to advertise, but comparatively “old school” audio advertising is more relevant than you might think. In fact, a recent study by the Interactive Advertising Bureau found that audio advertising is expected to grow by 20% in 2023. Yes, you heard that right: Grow!

A recent article from AdAge confirmed what some have been touting for ages – that audio advertising is a more effective and personal way to reach your audience. Findings include that 62% of Americans are exposed to audio advertising on a weekly basis, according to Nielsen. Another study by Dentsu found that audio ads generate 50% more attentive seconds than video ads. Even further, a study by Pandora found that audio ads integrated within personalized playlists have a much greater impact on long-term memory than both TV and mobile.

Surprised? You shouldn’t be.

For starters, people are spending more time listening to audio than ever before. According to the Nielsen report mentioned above, the average American now spends over 10 hours a day listening to audio. Ten hours. That’s more than they spend watching TV.

Second, audio advertising is more personal than other forms of advertising because when you’re listening to audio, you’re essentially inviting the advertiser into your head through your earbuds. This makes it a more intimate and engaging experience. 

As an added bonus, audio can be more cost-effective than other forms of advertising. So, it’s a great way to reach a large audience without breaking the bank.

How does audio advertising work?

There are a few different ways to do it. Advertising with a local broadcast radio station is one of the oldest, tried-and-true forms of advertising in the world. By placing ads with broadcast radio, you can reach a massive audience of listeners across the airwaves and, with broadcast radio being “free,” it makes it the most accessible to the masses.   

With the advent of audio streaming services and, more recently, smart speakers, new ways have arisen that allow for the heightened targeting capabilities of a digital ad to be paired with the innate effectiveness of audio advertising. Inserting ads into streaming music playlists curated by the users themselves can allow an advertiser to target their audience based on what kind of music they like to listen to, what podcast topics they enjoy, or even online browsing and buying behavior and more. Live reads, which are short, pre-recorded ads that are read by the host of a podcast or radio show, allow for an even more personal touch to advertising and lend a trusted host’s voice to your business, amplifying the message. Influencer marketing at its finest.

No matter how you do it, audio advertising is a powerful way to reach your target audience and should be a part of the marketing mix for all businesses. It’s more likely to be remembered, can create a more emotional connection with listeners (which can make them more likely to act) and can be used in a variety of formats across the digital and traditional media landscape.

So, if you’re looking for a way to reach your target audience and get your message heard by the many or just a niche few, audio advertising is a great option.

About The Author

Andrew is a master strategist with more than a decade of experience on both sides of the media equation. He’s an expert in planning, buying and executing marketing strategies with analyzation and reporting skills to match.

Andrew’s career has been filled with certifications, awards and accolades since graduating from LeMoyne College with a degree in communications. As the leader of media management at ABC, he’s the ideal client advocate when it comes to tactics and placement within any size budget.

He was drawn to the creative-forward setting of ABC, where he subscribes to the idea-based ethos of putting the message and client first.