What you need to know about digital audio? Three main trends to follow for 2022

Written by Geoffrey Fossier

December 28, 2021

We’ve seen significant changes to the audio market in the past few years with the emergence of new content and consumption behaviours fuelled by the technological advances that digital audio has facilitated. Accelerated by the COVID-19 pandemic, digital audio has exhibited astronomical growth over the past few years offering both advertisers and content producers a wealth of new opportunities.

#1. Digital Audio is booming

According to the latest IAB UK report (full report here) produced in partnership with YouGov Omnibus, 65% of the UK population listens to at least one form of digital audio each month. This represents an increase of 3% in just one year (March 2020-April 2021). This growth has been caused by the ever-increasing popularity of streaming services such as Spotify, DAX and Deezer but also by the rising consumption of podcasts. Podcasts alone account for 27% of the digital audio content consumed in the UK (a 3% increase of share from 2021 to 2020) with 66% of consumers increasing their consumption of this content since the end of the pandemic.

The growth of digital audio offers both agencies and advertisers a number of opportunities to engage their target audiences in new environments and this adoption has been mirrored by the increase in ad-spend to this channel. In 2020, investment in digital audio increased by 17% from £89m to £104m with investment in podcast content seeing an increase of 45% and now accounting for 35% of digital audio market share.

#2. Digital Audio is becoming multi-devices

In addition to the increase in content, it’s also crucial to underline the role played by new devices in the development of the audio market. Whilst historically, digital audio has been widely consumed via mobile devices; it can now also be launched from a variety of new technologies including tablets, connected speakers, TVs and even smart watches. All of these devices can now support users in their daily listening.

This wide range of devices represents even more new opportunities for brands and allow specific messages to be delivered according to real-time moments and can be perfectly adapted to each device.

#3. Programmatic will unlock the power of digital audio

Like most online media, the share of programmatic in digital audio is growing YoY. Technological advances are facilitating the rapid growth of digital audio itself. DSPs such as Hawk, with it’s unrivalled EU audio supply, enable activation against all UK audio suppliers through a single platform. Not only does technology allow agencies and brands to transact more effectively but also to target more granularly too; ultimately increasing efficiency. Buyers can now layer a wealth of data onto their audio campaigns whilst using granular location targeting and attributing using new and unique metrics to quantify the success of campaigns.

Finally, technologies like Hawk also allow for more seamless, real-time optimisations to be made across publishers to meet the KPIs of advertisers’ campaigns.

#4. Audio fits perfectly into an omnicanal strategy

Activated in silo, audio makes it possible to engage with listeners thanks to the “leaned-in” environment in which it is consumed. Activated as part of a cross-cross-channel campaign, audio becomes even more powerful and allows brands to unlock unique sequential or re-targeting messages across screens to reinforce brands’ messages; whilst Hawk’s proprietary brand lift product helps to quantify the success of these strategies at all stages of the purchase funnel.

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