Bridging The Audio Investment Gap


Radio, online streaming and podcasts are widely in vogue when it comes to digital content consumption. Marketers who believe in audio marketing and its potential are termed ‘broadcast believers’. Cross-platform champions are also finding audio marketing benevolent and a salient facet as audio is no longer a monolith in marketing. 

Despite it all, a recent survey conducted by WARC and iHeartMedia reveals that only 8.8 per cent of the average media budget is allocated to audio, and 25 per cent of advertisers do not invest in audio at all. What is stopping brands from investing in audio marketing?

According to the study, consumers of every generation spend more time with audio content across radio, streaming platforms and podcasts driven by audio’s ease and accessibility with the growth of wireless headphones and smart speakers.

Also Read: Digital Audio Strikes the Ad Chord

Addressing the gaps in audio marketing investment

Inhibitions crop up since brands are not sure about the long-term returns of audio marketing. A highly selective and limited audience entertains podcasts. The survey states that 31 per cent of the average consumer’s media consumption is audio. 

“The Audio Investment Gap is the single-biggest growth opportunity for brands. With the growth of wireless headphones and smart speakers paired with in-car listening, audio is everywhere and consumers are listening in more places throughout the day. But several brands are still on mute. Companies that right-size their audio investments and begin spending and innovating across radio, streaming and podcasts can outpace competitors in finding new audiences, building brand affinity and driving sales,” said Gayle Troberman, Chief Marketing Officer, iHeartMedia.

Experts state that the gap is the bridge to reduce video overload, a more competitive share of voice, better engagement and a long ride with the growing marketing space. 

Factors that can enhance the appeal of audio in marketing 

  • Lingual tone matters, primarily when the target audience is understood well 
  • Regional languages score brownie points
  • The local accent and colloquial modifications are made in accordance with the geography and demography of the target audience, maximum turn up from audio broadcasts are expected in almost every sector of marketing across industries

Also Read: Make Way for A Podcast Hustle

Places where audio marketing is mainly in use

While social media platforms are the answer, the three tiers of audio marketing expansion through podcasts specifically can be stated as:

  • Regional level (culture, accent, dialect specificity) 
  • Local-level (specificity of small pockets of the population has to be captured in the podcast)
  • National (This has to have a wider reach and better information in terms of appeal and optimum research)

Experts believe that the benefits of audio marketing are immense and warrant immediate attention. Firstly, a verbal appeal has a different resonance and effect upon the consumer’s brain. Secondly, in many cases, audio campaigns have reduced marketing costs as well. 

The size of the investment gap could represent a meaningful opportunity for brands. For instance, advertisers need to spend their budget where their audience spends its time. Moreover, investing ahead of a channel’s share of consumption means brands have to fight much harder for the audience’s attention. 

It’s never been more critical for marketers to balance short-term ROI with building equity for the future. Audio can be highly effective across every stage of the funnel. It delivers broad reach and high frequency. Nielsen Share Shift data shows that adding audio to a TV campaign improves performance whilst reducing costs. Also, by delivering urgent CTAs at the most appropriate time and place, audio motivates the actions and interactions that brands require.  

In an increasingly connected and mobile-first world, audio is likely to become more pervasive and more welcomed as people seek to escape visual overload. From crumbling cookies, immersive experiences to internet-enabled devices, audio marketing can create a new wave of digital marketing with suitable investments.