Audio: Don’t Call it a Comeback

Read Time: 3 Minutes

Many assume that when we talk about the origins of audio ads we’re referring to radio ads, but actually back in the 1890s there was a telephone newspaper that would transmit news and entertainment over telephone lines, and brands could pay for a short audio spot to reach those listeners. As other channels grew, respect for audio shrank until it appeared to fade into obscurity. Consider video advertising, particularly on social, where it has become common practise for videos to have subtitles as it is assumed that no-one is listening to the sound anyway.

According to Andrew Henry, VP, Director of Client Services at Joystick, Audio is very different. It represents an intimate space where brands can connect with users unlike ever before. There are 660,000 podcasts currently in production, and Adobe recently reported that most consumers listen to at least 1-5 hours of music or podcasts a week. This is no longer a passive experience.

Voice assistant devices are one of the biggest reasons why audio has re-entered into the conversation, but more than that audio is everywhere. We consume it constantly: in your home, your car, during your commute or even at the gym.

Making the Most of Audio

With this in mind, Andrew offers a number of best practices as brands revisit the humble audio ad:

  • As with all channels, understanding your audience is crucial: personalisation is shown to have a higher engagement rate across all mediums.
  • On top of this, understand the platform you’re working with, be that podcast or music streaming services. Consumption patterns and user context will affect how your ad is received.
  • Keep the placements short and sweet, with a clear call to action and repeating the brand name 2-3 times. This will help your ads have a higher recall rate.
  • Consider the full story of the ad by balancing voiceovers, music and other sound effects.

The Future of Search?

There is an oft-quoted statistic that 30% of searches will be done without a screen by 2020 – but what will that look like? “At its core, voice allows consumers to be more efficient in their day to day, as well as more present in their lives,” states Andrew. 36% of voice-activated speakers say that the main reason for using the device is that it enables them to do things faster, while 69% of users say they use the device while doing other things.

Audio has come full circle, and now offers hugely innovative ad placements ripe for the taking.

Download Andrew’s slides: Audio: Don’t Call it a Comeback