• AdLarge Media

Three Reasons to be Optimistic About Audio


Photo by Darwin Vegher on Unsplash

We binged Tiger King and Love is Blind, maybe even watched Frozen 2 for the hundredth time with the kids…but we’re slowly being released out into the world, and a long drive with the radio turned up sounds really good. Right?


If limiting screen time has become an unexpected desire during quarantine, you're not alone. Reach is at 95% of pre-pandemic levels as radio’s recovery continues for the third month in a row. Podcast listening rebounded even quicker, as locked-down audiences flocked to the medium to listen to their favorite guilty pleasures.

Reach quickly bounces back for radio as lockdowns are lifted.

Podcast listening on the up-and-up again, but always maintained gains over 2019.

With listening coming back, and in some cases growing, where do we go from here? While there will certainly be no such thing as “going back to normal”, audio is everywhere and ready to fit into consumers’ lives. Here are three reasons audio advertisers should be optimistic about the rest of 2020 and beyond.


Radio hits the road (or stays home if needed)


The mass reach of radio is ready to meet the needs of consumers today and tomorrow, adapting to changing consumer habits. A constant companion during lockdowns, radio provided a crucial touchpoint for immediate local updates. Radio will continue to innovate to keep ears engaged by focusing on digital touch points to better reach listeners where they are (even at home).


For non-essential employees returning to work, the commute is making a comeback as out-of-home listening surges. In June, 68% of listening in PPM markets occurred out of home, closing in on the 71% recorded in March according to the latest Nielsen PPM survey.


Looking long-term, staying closer to home will be the norm with international flights, business trips, and cruises on hold. From spending more time at or close to home to increased reliance on personal modes of transportation, radio will be along for the ride.


Podcasts provide an escape along with an enticing audience


Podcasting’s popularity isn’t slowing down anytime soon, and is positioned to maintain growth in listenership and ad revenue this year. eMarketer now expects the total reach of podcasting in the U.S. to surpass 105 million listeners in 2020 - representing 15% growth over last year.


The explosion of content over the past few years and the growing variety of topics has attracted a very desirable audience for brands. Listeners are young, but with disposable income, and are typically hard to reach via traditional media, yet intimately engaged when they are listening.


The anecdotal evidence on the effectiveness of podcast ads can now be backed-up with data. Attribution is becoming a ‘need to have’ for campaigns, allowing brands to gather real-time intel and better capitalize on the audience’s attention (no promo code required).


Audio is good for business


Advertisers navigating major shifts in consumer habits need to know that their media dollars are spent wisely. Audio shines by delivering in brand safety and flexibility, making it a smarter investment for savvy marketers.


Listeners consistently turn to the local stations and podcasts hosts they trust the most. Plus, the relatively low-cost and quick production turnaround of audio ads gives brands an advantage in times of uncertainty. Getting messaging out to market quickly or changing creative on a moment’s notice can make the difference between sounding timely versus tone deaf.


Despite the disruptions faced over the last few months, audio has demonstrated not only its remarkable resilience, but its secure foothold within our new normal. In an environment where maintaining share of voice and staying top of mind with customers is becoming increasingly crucial, audio should be included in every brand’s media budget.


From the reach of radio to the intimacy of podcasting, we’ve got all things audio covered to keep your brand top of mind. Get in touch for more details on cross-platform, multi-touch campaigns that reach every type of audio listener.


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