Cross-platform audio listening is boosting ad potential

The rise of cross-platform listening stands out as the biggest opportunity for advertisers, as super-listeners switch audio platforms throughout the day.

Cross-platform audio listening is boosting ad potential

Audio—radio, podcasts and streaming—is undergoing more than a renaissance. A true revolution is underway, led in part, by the disruptors who are making, consuming and advertising on the medium.

The idea of your parents’ favorite staticky radio station playing golden oldies has been blown apart, transformed not just by state-of-the-art car dashboards, smart speakers and mobile devices, but also by ultramodern attitudes. Radio has always been an intimate medium, the persuasive voice of a trusted friend whispering in your ear, but digital innovation has made audio’s reputation and effectiveness skyrocket. News, sports, conversations, music, podcasts. It’s all here in ultra-high fidelity.

That’s why we’re devoting Audacy’s latest State of Audio guide—“The Disruptors: The Listeners, Advertisers and Creators Revolutionizing Audio”—to those driving so much attention to our industry. This edition of our biannual report spotlights the people, content and marketing strategies that make audio a must-have medium for marketers.

The ultimate companion medium
The rise of cross-platform listening stands out as the biggest opportunity in 2022 for advertisers. Morning and afternoon drive time has given way to “me time” as audio has become an on-demand medium. Platform agnostic, these folks might be called the “AudioX” listeners, who follow their favorite content creators, transitioning smoothly from over-the-air radio to podcasts to audio streaming throughout the day.

More than a demographic, AudioX listeners are defined by behavior. They’re 52% more likely to have a college degree and two-thirds more likely to have a household income over $100,000 when compared with digital content only consumers.¹ What’s more, AudioX listeners have a greater propensity to recall brand messages and have a significant increase in purchase intent.²

Notable change is happening in streaming and terrestrial listening as well. Total weekly listening shot up last year by 7 million to 176 million, a sum even beating 2020’s all-time high. Average weekly listening time jumped a full hour from 15 hours, 12 minutes to 16 hours, 14 minutes.³

Grab the mic and go
With lowered barriers to entry and increased listener appetite for unique experiences, radio talents aren’t the only ones betting big on audio. Hollywood is, too. Here’s an example: I loved watching the television series “Succession.” HBO Max and Audacy’s Pineapple Street Studios have joined forces to give fans like me the behind-the-scenes view by creating the official “Succession Podcast” with host Kara Swisher. “Our viewers tell us that, more than with any other streaming platform, they want to discuss and dissect HBO Max programming with friends and family to extend the emotional experience after finishing an episode,” said Joshua Walker, chief strategy officer at HBO Max.

Digital native creator Emma Chamberlain, called “the most talked about influencer in the world,” may have started her career with online video, but she clearly gets the importance of this audio revolution. In 2019, the now 21-year-old launched a weekly podcast with our Cadence13 Studio called “Anything Goes.” The show has proved to be a big hit not only with fans but also with brand sponsors.

Disruptor’s playbook for advertisers
Smart marketers understand you can disrupt but don’t interrupt. In the new attention economy, the question centers on finding the best approach to become part of the listener’s passions. The key is to tap into the power of total audio. Radio delivers the lion’s share of a listener’s time—71%—making it the king of the jungle when it comes to audience reach. Podcasts continue to hold the title for fastest growing audio channel. And streaming audio ad revenue jumped by 59% last year, outpacing increases in online video and search.

Multichannel audio campaigns are winning with brands at audio’s forefront. The trend shows no signs of slowing down. Demand for radio and digital combos have risen by 20% since 2019. Plus, multichannel audio campaigns work harder for marketers, who see a lower cost to convert with multichannel campaigns—38% lower than signal-channel audio buys.⁴

The audio revolution is just warming up. At Audacy, the conversations we have with our advertising partners have never been more inspired or exciting. And we’re also looking ahead, strategizing on how to take advantage of the cutting-edge opportunities coming with Web3, NFT offerings and the metaverse.

¹ MRI Simmons Spring Doublebase USA Weighted by Population; Audacy Super Listeners = Audacy OTA listeners and have listened to a podcast in the last 30 days.

² Audacy Ad-Length Study, conducted by Veritonic, December 2021.

³  Edison Research and Triton Audio, The Infinite Dial, 2021.

⁴ IAB / PwC Ad Revenue Report, FY 2021.