Audio Advertising in Video… Wait, What?!

Audio In Video FAQ

Imagine someone who is cooking dinner while listening to a concert or podcast on YouTube – an instance where a video channel is consumed through ears, not eyes. Compellingly, 79% of consumed audio occurs when people are engaged in activities where visual media won’t reach them (IAB). This human behavior of accompanying activities with audio backdrops from video streaming platforms introduces a completely new audience that may otherwise remain untapped. For brands, that means there’s an opportunity to increase reach, awareness, and engagement.

Q: Isn’t audio advertising the ads you hear on the radio and music streaming apps?

A: Of course, but this is just one piece of the audio advertising picture. That’s where we come in – with Targetspot, you’re able to go beyond radio and music streaming apps to reach listening audiences you may otherwise never connect with through multiple, additional audio channels – smart speakers, out-of-home experiences (for instance, at a laundromat), podcasts, web radios, mobile gaming apps, and even video streaming platforms.

Think about audio in video specifically. As time away from the screen is ever-increasing in popularity, audio advertising becomes more and more powerful, even on video channels. It may be surprising, but 57.8% of podcast listeners prefer to listen to podcasts on YouTube (Voices). As people continue to turn to video streaming platforms to listen and not watch, video ads intended to be seen start to lose impact.

Q: “Audio advertising in video…” What does that actually mean?

A: Literally, this means inserting an audio ad somewhere within the video-streaming experience, typically as pre-roll before the video begins to play. When advertising via Show Heroes, brands have the option to place audio ads either pre-roll or mid-roll. And unlike video ads, audio ads are non-skippable – consumers will hear the entire ad yet will feel less annoyed or overwhelmed due to the hands-free, eyes-free interaction.

Less disruption can lead to higher engagement, which ultimately can lead to higher conversion. Even though audio ads are non-skippable, they still have a positive impact. For example, 65% of listeners are likely to buy a product after hearing an ad during a podcast (AdWeek). With stats like this, it’s hard to ignore the power of audio advertising and connecting with audiences through sound.

Even though audio ads are designed to be heard, many can be paired with a visual, clickable component that can drive traffic to websites, landing pages, and beyond. This gives listeners the option to remain hands-free or to physically interact with the audio ad in the moment. To experience an audio ad, check out this example from Lexus:

Q: Why should brands consider audio advertising in video?

A: If you’re looking to expand your reach and awareness, you’ll want to consider audio advertising in video channels. Think about the example of someone listening to a concert on YouTube while cooking dinner. With increasingly more video content being consumed through the ears, audio advertising helps brands connect with a unique audience unreachable through visual messaging like video or display ads.

This year, U.S. adults will spend roughly 1hr 40mins consuming audio content every day, a significant increase from 1hr 14 mins in 2018 (eMarketer). While audio consumption is steadily on the rise, video consumption remains dominant with adults spending ~15 hours per week with video content compared to ~12 hours with audio content (eMarketer). There’s an opportunity for brands to capitalize on these increasing hours spent with digital content, particularly through audio messaging in video.

With the addition of audio ads in video channels, the reach of your audio campaigns becomes much larger than for instance a radio FM campaign.

To further illustrate this, consider our new publisher, ShowHeroes, and its inventory of 4000+ websites, 800+ publishers, and 1.5M unique users (ShowHeroes) — the audience reach is extensive, presenting an opportunity to optimize and expand audio campaigns by leveraging video channels. For example, in Germany, ShowHeroes has access to 94.1% of the TV audience among adults over 16 (ShowHeroes). Through audio ads delivered through Targetspot and ShowHeroes, brands are able to reach a new audience that may not be exposed to radio or audio elsewhere. Not only will brands extend their reach to new, untapped audiences, they’ll increase their brand awareness, too. Impressively, Google found that more than 75% of measured audio ad campaigns on YouTube drove a significant lift in brand awareness (Google).

Audio is easier for the human mind to retain, requiring less effort to process than visual content like videos or the written word. Studies show that audio advertising creates a stronger reaction than video advertising, both physically and emotionally, allowing brands to connect with their audiences on a deeper level. As a result, audio ads have a 24% higher recall rate than traditional display ads and are 36% more memorable than video ads – that’s powerful for brands! Not to mention, 65% of people will skip online video ads (and 84% will skip video ads viewed on a smartphone… yikes!) whereas non-skippable audio ads will be heard from start to finish.

Q: Is audio advertising in video cost effective?

A: Yes! One major advantage of audio ads is a significantly lower production cost when compared to video ads. On average, the production cost for a 30sec audio ad is ~$650 (2ndKitchen)– this is substantially lower than ~$2000 to produce a video ad of the same length (Beverly Boy). With a smaller initial cost (including media agency costs), 11% more of your overall budget can be allocated to ad spend when executing an audio-only advertising strategy in video platforms, maximizing your consumer-facing media investment (see graph below simulating several options for a 30000 USD campaign).

Maximize your ad spent

Considering that audio ads are proven to have higher recall and engagement, the fact that they require fewer dollars and resources as well as less time and effort truly increases their ROI when compared to video ads that may go unseen or be skipped. By audio advertising in video platforms, you benefit from the immense reach of video channels without a hefty cost yet with more agility.

Final question: should brands invest in audio advertising in video?

A: In a world where screen fatigue is fueling continually more audio consumption along with an ever-growing audience adopting video streaming platforms as listening channels, brands should at least be thinking about introducing audio in video to their advertising strategy. And here’s why:

  1. Ability to connect with an otherwise unreachable audience with audio
  2. Non-skippable yet less intrusive ad delivery
  3. Increased reach, brand awareness, and engagement
  4. Budget-friendly production and time-efficient set up
  5. Higher ad recall and deeper emotional reaction

All in all, audio advertising proves to be undeniably fruitful when thoughtfully executed. Know your audience, write stellar copy that tells a story, and continually test to optimize. Most importantly, keep the audio the main focus. People can look away from screens, but they’ll always hear. Audio advertising in video can create touchpoints in moments where visual messaging cannot, illustrating that where video ads fall short, audio ads can prevail.


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