The Audio Bubble

In 2018, the amount of noise in our own daily media landscapes makes us feel like we can’t hear ourselves think. So it’s no surprise that the act of plugging in our headphones is becoming more and more appealing to consumers. Audio offers intimate, one-to-one connections to listeners. And brands that integrate seamlessly into the space and personalize engagements maximize the audio opportunity.

What’s happening?

  • Growth – Audio continues its upward trajectory with an estimated 64% of all online users (or 180MM people) listening this past month. Considering this number was only 50% in 2016, listenership saw a 28% growth in just over a year.
  • Engagement – Not only are they accessing audio, but users are also spending a good portion of their waking hours listening - almost 15 hours/week in 2017.
  • Proliferation of Connected Devices – As ownership of Alexa and Google Home devices nearly tripled over the past year, so has connected home listening increased which likely will translate to more communal shared listening.
  • Podcast Listenership Expands – An estimated 83MM people listen to a podcast on a monthly basis; moreover, these are highly engaged audiences with “appointment” listening habits.
  • Audio is Social – As personal as the medium is, it’s also tied to a broader social experience. Consumers connect with the bigger world as they create and share playlists, or listen to music triggered by current events or cultural experiences, e.g. “Total Eclipse of the Heart” spiked during the solar eclipse.

What’s next?

Some new opportunities are on the horizon that enhance the impact of audio. Spotify is leading innovation by spreading out into video. They’ve developed specific partnerships with publishers such as Buzzfeed, and will ultimately grow a content hub of interviews, news and stories. Though podcast integrations are still at an early stage, as listenership grows and brands are able to be incorporated more organically, there will be more opportunities to reach these vested listeners. Perhaps most exciting is the expansion into live events where audiences experience concerts/shows in real time within a branded context.

How can brands effectively tap into this space?

  • Leverage data to understand the target’s current mindset and deliver the right message at the right moment. Streaming intelligence identifies the mood or activity based on the playlist.
  • Integrate immersive, engaging brand experiences tied to what is playing.
  • Personalize the experience with custom playlists for life events, offer uninterrupted sessions, etc.
We’ve found the most successful activations are relevant, engaging and provide value to listeners. Be sure to use insights, tap into emotions, and give the audience something special.

 

For more tips, tricks, or insights on how to take your marketing from now to next, subscribe to our newsletter or contact Nicole Stone – Director, New Business Development at nstone@laughlin.com or 414.270.7235.