Why you should direct your media buying into digital audio

The latest technological innovations in the digital audio world are allowing brands and agencies to diversify their advertising investment by taking advantage of new formats beyond radio and podcasting. Audio in video, text-to-speech and mobile games are already showing potential for exploitation. Here’s why.

Let’s face it, traditional radio advertising revenues have been stagnant for years, and they suffered enormously during the pandemic. This is the result of a shift in consumption. Even though traditional radio will remain a deep-rooted habit for many listeners, consumers are increasingly turning to new digital audio formats.

The trend is clearly established. Brands and agencies are following where consumers are going, and this is reflected in a significant increase in investment in digital formats –  so much so that we will find ourselves in a situation where demand will outstrip supply. Soon the digital audio advertising inventory (web radio, music streaming or podcasting) will not be big enough to absorb the full advertising budget that advertisers would like to invest in it – unless they start exploring the new opportunities offered by digital audio that consumers are now turning to, such as online video platforms, text-to-speech and mobile gaming.

3 new digital audio formats

The new digital audio ecosystem has been enriched with 3 innovative, perfectly complementary formats.

 1. Audio-in-video

There are over 5,000 video platforms worldwide. Video streaming has become the norm for entertainment. Yet some forms of content are being consumed more passively. For example, consumers do not look at the screen when streaming music videos, concerts, exercises such as meditation or radio programmes.

This has led to the emergence of a new advertising format within video platforms – audio ads in video. Example: Dailymotion has launched Audio Roll, a new (audio) advertising format that provides more value and opens up new revenue streams for the company. Targetspot is marketing Dailymotion’s Audio Rolls.

2. Text-to-Audio

Digital audio is now able to convert readers into listeners, thanks to so-called “text-to-speech”, which represents a new opportunity to monetise content in an environment where the listener is receptive and engaged. It has an LTR (listen-through rate) of 59% and advertising acceptance rate of 91% in the field.

One example of this is Forbes, which has opted for Trinity Audio’s technology. The magazine can already customise the player and voice (male or female), as well as add new languages to extend its reach and audience. Hence they have created a new (audio) channel for consuming content while preserving their business model.

3. Gaming

The latest annual report from the Entertainment Software Association (ESA) confirms that 55% of gamers in the US played more during the pandemic. Global advertising spend on mobile games is expected to grow from US$46.7 billion in 2021 to US$130.9 million in 2025. Mobile games already account for more than half of the industry’s global market revenue.

While music and audio have always been an integral part of the gaming experience, digital audio advertising in video games is a fairly recent innovation in the field. It also makes it possible to reach a target audience that is difficult to reach outside of this medium, namely Generation Z.

Adam Pattison, UK Country Manager for Targetspot, says: “Audio has a natural place in the video games world these days, being much less intrusive and frustrating for the gaming experience.

Media mix: diversifying your investments

So we can see that the solution for brands is to diversify their advertising investments across a range of different digital audio media: mobile games, text-to-speech, audio in video (audio ads on Dailymotion, for example).

Brands can now reach consumers through a variety of contextual touchpoints, increasing the effectiveness and reach of marketing messages. As Alexandre Ouhadi, Chief Revenue Officer of Targetspot, confirms:

“Consumer habits are evolving, so it is logical that advertisers, who are anxious to reach their target audience, will follow this evolution. When choosing their media mix, it is important for brands to take into account every possible point of contact with their audience, not only from a quantitative point of view (reach), but also from a qualitative point of view (engagement). There is more and more evidence in studies that the effectiveness of advertising in a digital audio context is superior to traditional media on a number of key criteria, such as awareness, recall and attribution. At this point, the choice of media mix is not so much to do one OR the other, but to do one AND the other.” 

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