Is audio the new king of content? - MCM

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May 25, 2021 Fern Rogers

Is audio the new king of content?

For many years digital advertising has been dominated by image and video ads, with Facebook and Google driving huge ad revenues. But audio advertising is making something of a comeback with the continued rise in popularity of podcasts as well as live audio chat platforms like Clubhouse. Radio advertising has always been part of traditional marketing strategies before the age of digital, and is also becoming a popular choice once again. But audio advertising is really surging on music streaming platforms like Spotify that offer a free version to users. We explain why you should think about making audio advertising part of your digital strategy and the benefits of audio ads.


What Platform Is Best For Audio Ads?

There are plenty of platforms that you can advertise on with digital audio ads but some of the most targeted ads are podcast ads. It is projected that podcast listeners will grow to 125 million per month by 2022, so there is enormous potential for advertising here. But one of the biggest factors that make podcasts the perfect place to start for advertising is the user engagement. In general, users are much more engaged with a podcast as it requires a higher level of concentration than simply streaming music. A recent study also found that 60% of podcast listeners went on to make a purchase based on one of the ads they heard, which is hugely impressive. Some of the best platforms for audio ads include Spotify and podcast advertising platforms like MidRoll Media.


How Much Do Audio Ads Cost?

Audio ads are charged differently to standard image and text platforms and has been one of the factors that have put people off in the past. This is because audio ads generally operate on a CPM platform, or cost per thousand impressions, which means ads are more expensive on podcasts or platforms with more listeners. So for example, paying for an audio advert on Magic Radio should cost you less than an advert on BBC Radio 1. In a similar way, advertising on the most popular podcast will cost you more than advertising on a more niche podcast. As an example, advertising on Marc Maron’s WTF with a 60 second midroll will cost as much as $13,200. But on average you can expect to pay around $30 CPM.


Should I Advertise on the Most Popular Podcast?

The short answer to this is no. Although a more popular podcast will have more listeners, it is really important that you pick your audience carefully. As previously mentioned, podcast users are extremely engaged compared to music streamers or people scrolling through Facebook, but if your product isn’t relevant then they are still unlikely to purchase. But this is actually a positive, as you can select a podcast based on your target demographic, so opting for podcasts that are popular with women or men, gamers or runners and a whole range of other categories can help you to drive ROI. Promoting your product on a relevant channel might even work out cheaper than one of the larger podcasts.


Are Audio Ads More Important than Image Ads in 2021?

The answer to this question depends entirely on your demographic and the product or service you are selling, but the likely answer is still no at the moment. Facebook and Google have a combined ad revenue of more than $200 billion in 2021 which dwarfs the reported $200 million generated by Spotify Ads, but audio ads are growing. The best marketing strategy has always been to opt for a blended approach though, by making use of image, text and audio ads on a range of platforms to really promote your brand. Now is the perfect time to put some budget towards audio advertising and see if it’s the right platform for your business.