If you think about digital marketing, you first think of an advertisement on your social media page, an advertisement placed before a YouTube film, or an integration of your brand with your favourite influencer. Yet, as per research from the field, one area that’s neglected is the use of audio ads.
The audio OTT industry in India has an estimated amount of 695 million. Based on a FICCI EY report released this year, the market is expected to reach $2.5 billion in 2030.
Recent reports from GroupM reveal that over 150 million active monthly people use voice technology in India. It includes over 100 million users of audio streaming plus 40 million podcast users, as well as over 10 million users of connected devices.
This is an indicator that there is a growing segment of audio OTT customers. The report shows that those who stream audio online nationwide are significantly more prosperous than those who don’t. Connected audio listeners are the highest-end of those in the category.
The market seems very ripe to be taken, But who are the marketers?
The report states that around 90% of digital media marketers have heard of audio ads. However, only 40% are using this method.
Manish Nagar, the agency relationship chief of the Audio series platform Pocket FM, points out that advertisers’ reluctance to invest in audio might be caused by the lack of ability in the market to change its conventional method of making Jingles.
The author says, “In India, the advertisers are offered a wide range of audio formats to select from, such as the audio-based series, music and more. When discussing advertisements that use audio or voices, using the conventional method to create a jingle commercial isn’t as effective.”
“It’s important to note that audio isn’t restricted to music. Audio shows have also built an impressive user base, leading to high levels of involvement. Although certain types of areas, like FMCG, are known to depend heavily on video ads, An increase in the use of audio within those categories could prompt more advertisers to change their attention to audio.”
The digital landscape is mostly dominated by pictures and textual content, increasing the number of companies stepping into the market through their media. In addition to video or visual advertisements, Nagar highlights some creative ways that brands can engage with the audio-based audience.
“Audio is personal, and the listeners select content that is tailored according to their needs, not unlike television. That makes advertisements for audio formats much more interesting.”
“For example, Pocket FM has developed new ways of helping brands stand out. These include the inclusion of narrators’ mentions as well as product placements in story stories. By incorporating brand messages in a narrator’s voice and making it sound more seamless and convincing for listeners.”
“Additionally, Pocket FM creates 3D audio-based creatives that take viewers on a full-on experience of what the brand offers. The innovative methods have proved extremely effective in advertisements through audio-based platforms.”
Based on Priyam Dadia, director of media at Schbang, the combination of audio content and visuals will yield more effective results for brands in the long term.
“The interesting part is, you can also do visual content along with voice ads that have proven more effective.”
“On average, there is an average of 30-45% overlap between the top music applications in the United States. If they are targeted properly, brands can appeal to similar audiences across different platforms, which will increase awareness and brand recognition in the course. We also now can eliminate the possibility of overlapping between apps by targeting unique IDs.”
In a discussion about the slow rate of the adoption of audio among marketers, Dadia opines that it’s just a matter of time before the marketing agencies take over the market.
“We noticed a major transition from traditional self-serve platforms towards OTT as ‘video’ was a huge part of the market. It was the requirement for the moment to promote your goods, and gradually, we’re witnessing a change in this also.”
“It’s only a matter of time until a new format is adopted and people jump on the wave. The research suggests that audio ads can be up to 25% more efficient than videos since it’s simpler for the brain to sort through. Although you might be unable to remember the colours of your brand’s logo or branding, it’s extremely difficult to remember an iconic song.”
Although video-driven digital marketing has gained momentum for companies, incorporating audio verticals within campaigns could also bring advantages. Ahmed Aftab Naqvi, the global co-founder and CEO of GoZoop Group, points out that using audio is a great way for brands to connect with their customers in a non-intrusive and non-invasive manner.