Audio Advertising Tops Advertiser Priority: Survey

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A staggering 66 percent of buyers are planning to invest more in audio over the next 12 months, according to a report in the Europe Digital Audio Advertising Report 2023, released the last week by GroupM Nexus, the media investment arm of WPP together and IAB Europe.

The study included 549 advertisers, agents, publishers, and advertisers in 29 European markets. Data was obtained through a questionnaire conducted through GroupM Nexus, utilizing the national IAB network, from May until June 2023.

An astounding 47 percent of the agencies and advertisers said that audio advertising was their top preference. Buyers cited three major factors that drive audio advertising as the ability of the channel to improve the media plan (65 percent), increase brand recognition (55 percent), and target specific groups (48 percent). The report also showed diversification of investment across various audio formats and channels. Most buyers geared their investment toward streaming (59 percent) or podcasts (59 percent), as well as online radio (57 percent).

Marketers are optimistic regarding digital audio ads. Particularly, 66 percent of buyers intend to invest more money in this field in the coming twelve months, and nearly one quarter (24 percent) anticipate an increase between 11 percent to 30 percent in their spending. These projections show a lot of faith in digital music as a viable method of reaching the right audience.


Daniel Knapp, Chief Economist at IAB Europe, highlights that digital audio has outpaced other channels of advertising in Europe from 2018 until 2022 with regard to the increase in the compound annual rate. The pandemic catalyzed the growth of digital audio, especially podcasts, due to the rise in consumption. Additionally, improvements like better measurement, streamlined buying, and automated purchasing have all helped to improve the market. The emphasis of the advertising industry on quality, attention, and brand security makes digital audio an appealing investment avenue for advertisers and a potent platform for publishers to use the potential of context. It is predicted that the European music market, which was EUR772 million in advertising expenditure at the end of 2022, will exceed EUR1 billion in 2025.

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Marketers surveyed ranked the incremental reach (46 percent) as well as innovative activation methods such as dynamic creative advertising optimization (DCO) (43 percent) and the ability to measure efficiency (42 percent) in the top 3 drivers of spending on digital audio. These three factors will likely be essential in attracting additional investment over the coming 18-24 months. Notably, 76 percent of both agencies and advertisers plan to boost their music advertising budgets during this period. Interactive ads that use intelligent speakers are the best chance to increase audio budgets for digital and dynamic audio advertisements soon.

Cross-channel insight and activation technology, as well as advanced contextual targeting, are significant opportunities to boost the potential of digital audio. The capability to attract consumers’ attention, trigger them to take action, and implement well-thought cross-channel campaigns are essential to ensuring you get more money for your advertising.

Audio ads are expected to engage with viewers primarily through smartphones, according to seven out of ten marketers who were that were surveyed, with the rest coming from laptops and desktops (48 percent) and tablets (44 percent). The widespread use of mobile devices as audio devices provides an excellent chance for marketers to connect with their audience all day. Survey respondents believe that people can view audio advertisements through connected TVs, game consoles, and standalone radios, highlighting the broad audience reach of audio.

Harry Harcus, GroupM Nexus EMEA, spoke about the enormous potential for audio as a channel. Both buyers and publishers expect significant growth in the coming years. Audio, as an effective medium for reaching highly engaged people when visual counterparts aren’t well, can be an integral part of broader plans for buyers and improve publishing options for media. Utilizing the latest technologies to enable audio advertising will allow the power of cross-channel optimization as well as performance, making audio content more appealing and increasing profits for publishers.

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