The shift towards a mobile-first world is driving demand for digital audio, and the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) has published its latest Digital Audio Buyer’s Guide to help advertisers, brands, and agencies take advantage of emerging opportunities in digital audio advertising.
The guide focuses on how advertisers can harness digital audio ad campaigns. It illustrates the main types of audio ad formats, as well as how to build, plan, buy, deliver and target campaigns. However, the guide first begins by highlighting the clear value proposition that digital audio presents to advertisers:
- Large, growing audience. The IAB cites a report from Edison Research and Triton Digital that found 57% of Americans older than 12 listen only to radio, while 21% listen to podcasts. Digital audio’s popularity is also evidenced by the large user bases of music streaming platforms. For example, Spotify counts more than 100 million global users, and SoundCloud has over 175 million monthly users worldwide.
- Favorable demographics. All age groups consume digital audio, though the 18-34 demographic are the heaviest users. Piper Jaffray estimates Pandora’s largest age group to be 35-44 year olds, with 21% of users within that segment, while 26% and 21% of Spotify users are between 18-24 and 13-18, respectively. Audio listeners are also high earners: 41% of podcast users make over $75,000 annually, according to an Edison Research survey.
- Effective reach on mobile. Music apps accounted for 16% of mobile time spent in June 2016, behind social networking apps at 20%, according to ComScore’s US Mobile App Report. Triton Research figures cited in the IAB report reiterate this point: 83% of total listening hours streamed from stations or publishers occurred on mobile in Q3 2016. Furthermore, 80% of SoundCloud’s traffic occurs on smartphone devices.
- Highly engaged listeners. Podcast ads generated a positive action among two-thirds of listeners, according to comScore and Wondery research. Meanwhile, the IAB cites a Midroll survey where 67% of respondents were able to name a product or promotion mentioned in a podcast, and 61% indicated that they had bought something they learned about from a podcast.
- No screens in the way. Audio plays when screens are off, locked, or nonexistent, providing a touchpoint to consumers regardless of whether they’re facing their screens. Digital audio ad impressions do not rely on screens, and this creates opportunities for marketers to reach consumers on new platforms, like voice-active interfaces, and in different contexts, during both active and passive listening sessions.
The report includes new shipments forecasts, identifies major players, and assesses the advantages and weaknesses of each device category. It also examines how usage and ownership may vary among device categories and the implications of this upswing on various ancillary markets, like advertising and app development.
Here are some key takeaways from the report:
- Streaming media device adoption is rising fast as over-the-top (OTT) streaming video services — such as Netflix and HBO NOW — make it easier than ever to ditch traditional pay-TV. We expect global shipments of streaming media devices to grow at a 10% compound annual growth rate (CAGR), from 240 million in 2016 to 382 million in 2021.
- Over the next few years, we expect the market for streaming media devices to grow and consolidate. In the long term, newer technologies like virtual reality will become a leading connected device segment. However, in the next five years, smart TVs, gaming consoles, and media streamers will remain the top categories by a wide margin.
- Smart TVs currently dominate shipments, accounting for three-quarters of device shipments in 2015. As people upgrade their TVs, the global installed base of smart TVs will grow from 584 million in 2016 to 896 million in 2021.
- As streaming media device uptake rises, stakeholders throughout the larger media ecosystem will need to adapt to consumers’ changing habits. Legacy TV providers will likely need to offer skinny bundles or their own OTT subscriptions to stay relevant, while advertisers will want to capitalize on the opportunities available in targeting streaming viewers using demographic and behavioral data. App developers, platform creators, and game makers will also have a stake in where and how streaming activity develops.
In full, the report:
- Identifies the major device categories in the streaming media market.
- Sizes up the current reach and shipments forecast for each device category.
- Compares and contrasts the benefits and downsides of each device category within the greater streaming media ecosystem.
- Examines the major players in each device category.
- Assesses the gap between streaming media device installed base and usage.
- Explores how this growing market is impacting other industries in its peripherals.
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