Digital Audio Listening to Beat Non-Digital in 2020 – The Buyer’s Journey 94

It’s podcast week day 4! Digital audio listening is slated to beat non-digital by 2020 according to a new eMarketer report. On today’s episode we talk all about that report focusing on digital audio listening. How does it compare to terrestrial and what’s ad spend like?

Digital vs Non-Digital

eMarketer’s latest report shows that non-digital audio is still the king, but not for much longer. Digital audio will beat non-digital sources by 2020 according to an eMarketer forecast. And much of that is because of streaming audio and podcasts. More than three-quarters of US internet users will listen to digital audio formats at least once a month this year. While podcast listeners only make up about 26.9% of the US internet population, there is steady growth in the audience. In addition, about 30% of digital audio listeners will access podcast content via smart speakers in 2019, eMarkter says. Google’s latest plans will be pushing that number up, too, we suspect. 

As you can see below, though, AM/FM radio still has the highest percentage of time spent. It’s important to keep in mind, however, that AM/FM radio is one mass category for a ton if stations. Everything below it (with the exception of “owned music” which could be digital or non-digital) is a splinter of digital audio delivery. It’s easy to see that adding all of those numbers up greatly outweighs AM/FM radio.  

The Secret Sauce

Here’s a fantastic excerpt from eMarketer’s report: “‘If time is the commodity, and attention is what a marketer is trying to capture to influence purchase decisions and brand connections, then audio is a really unique way to reach those consumers in those contexts where you can’t reach them in any other media,’ said Scott Walker, senior vice president of ad strategy at music streaming service Pandora.”

Podcasts are at this very unique, niche area. There’s so many different genres of podcasts and topics covered within that allow advertisers to hit smaller, more engaged communities. eMarketer says that many interviewed for the reported “highlighted the uniqueness of digital audio as an attractor: the ability to reach consumers in an active and engaged mindset with an advertising format that requires no visuals and limited competition for share of voice at the moment of impact.” Audio is reaching ears at times where screen time is limited (the car), and many are drifting away from screen time, too. Being able to hit potential customers within these engaged communities is fantastic. 

The Dollars

eMarketer says that, “The Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) and PwC estimated US audio ad spending totaled $2.25 billion last year. While this accounted for just 2% of all US digital ad spending forecast by the two firms, spending was up 22.9% from 2017 ($1.83 billion). Mobile accounted for more than three-quarters of all audio ad dollars.”

eMarketer reports that 29% of 500 U.S. marketing and advertising business decision-makers said having digital audio as part of their cross-channel strategy was important, according to a February 2019 survey from Adobe and Advanis. In addition, 19% rated it as very important while only 22% of respondents said they did not do any digital audio advertising.

Needless to say, money is flowing into podcasts and it doesn’t seem like it’s going to stop. A few days ago we talked all about listeners feelings on ads. With this new info it’s looking like a great time for advertisers to get their feet wet in the podcasting market.

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