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Should I Be Using Digital Audio?

Should I Be Using Digital Radio?

Written by enCOMPASS Agency

One of the primary objectives of any digital advertising campaign is to reach buyers at key points in their consumer journey. In pursuit of this goal, audio advertising is all too often overlooked. But advertisers neglect audio at their own risk. There are countless opportunities to connect with an audience over digital radio, potentially reaching buyers that might otherwise slip through the cracks.

Indeed, recent statistics show just how valuable digital radio ads can be to your campaign. We’d love to share some of these stats, as well as some additional context that shows how worthwhile digital radio can be.

What is Digital Audio?

First, it might be helpful to clarify what we mean when we talk about digital radio. Digital radio streams through platforms such as Pandora, Spotify, and iHeartRadio, just to name a few examples, and allows listeners to customize their experience in ways that the conventional AM and FM formats don’t allow. For example, Pandora allows listeners to develop their own custom stations, based on songs or artists they either like or dislike. In addition to music, digital radio offers plenty of other audio content formats, including talk and podcasts.

Key Stats About Digital Audio

Due to the level of customization that it offers, as well as the convenience of being able to stream content pretty much anywhere, digital radio has surged in popularity. As evidence, consider just a few recent statistics compiled by Pandora:

  • The popularity of AM/FM radio is tanking, especially among younger listeners. Since 2014, AM/FM has declined by almost 30 percent among listeners in the 18-54 range.
  • In that same span of time, streaming music has increased by 81 percent. And podcasts have gained in popularity by a staggering 288 percent!
  • Pandora also notes that about half of all traditional radio listeners are above the age of 48.
  • Digital audio keeps people engaged for longer stretches of time. According to Pandora, “Digital audio listeners spend 54 percent more time with audio than non-digital listeners.”

These statistics make it clear that digital radio is increasing in popularity; that it tends to be engaging; and that it may be an especially useful avenue for reaching buyers who are a bit younger. And these are just a few of the reasons why we see advertising on digital radio can be a very worthwhile investment.

Additional Benefits of Advertising on Digital Audio

Consider some further advantages:

  • Digital radio offers some unique targeting options. When it comes to running ads on traditional AM/FM, there’s only so much you can do to narrow the audience. Not so with digital radio, which allows you to fine-tune your ad delivery, focusing on particular age or geographic niches, tying your ads to specific programs or events, etc. Digital radio makes it easy for you to spend your ad dollars where they are likely to make the biggest impact and bring in the audience you most covet.
  • Digital radio lets you reach people in different contexts. One of the most valuable things about digital radio is that so many consumers listen while they are in the car, riding the train, or walking to class. This allows advertisers a unique opportunity to reach people outside of the house; in fact, you can catch people as they are out running errands, which is often the best time to convince them of making a purchase or swinging by your brick-and-mortar location.
  • Digital radio ads aren’t as easy to tune out. What do you do when ads come on your AM/FM station? For many of us, the answer is to change the channel or else to hit mute. And yet, studies have shown that most digital radio listeners stay engaged throughout their listening session, even when the program shifts into ads. This is likely because there are fewer ads per segment on digital audio formats.
  • With digital radio, you can reach your audience more frequently. For many listeners, radio is a part of their everyday life. As such, it offers an opportunity to create multiple touchpoints with the members of your target audience, delivering your message to them repeatedly over the course of a week or a month. This repetition can be critical for boosting brand awareness and keeping your product or service top-of-mind.

These are just a few of the reasons why we consider digital radio ads to be worth considering, not necessarily as an end unto themselves but as key components of a broader digital marketing strategy. And, in our consultancy role, enCOMPASS can help you determine the specific role that digital radio might play within your own marketing efforts.

We’d love to talk with you further about the utility of audio advertising, and to answer any questions you might have. Reach out to our team any time you’d like to chat.