How can audio get more of a place in the media strategy?

The improvement in measuring audience was highlighted in The Future of Audio Europe as an essential issue for audio professionals.

One year later, has that been the situation? Is that the most effective method of increasing the audio’s share in media plans?

Media Leader Media Leader posed the question to experts from the industry ahead of this month’s Future of Audio and Entertainment.

Simon Kilby, Managing Director, Bauer Media Advertising

“We would like advertisers to put much more importance on trust. Brands and customers need an environment that is safe for media, and audio is known to be a reliable source of that, being the most trusted media in Europe with a 77% trust rating compared to social media’s 15%.

“Yet most of the budget for advertising in the United Kingdom is used for social and digital. The audio verse has the potential to reach audience sizes across multiple platforms, including live radio, podcasts and connected listening, which is why agencies must divert spending away from questionable and untrustworthy platforms and focus on safe environments for brands. This isn’t just about what, but why audio should get more of the spotlight in the media strategy.”

Flora Williams, head of planning Manning Gottlieb OMD

“Unlock the full potential of audio by using the potential of contextual information.

“Within the realm of audio, there is a huge opportunity to utilize your brand name to improve the user’s experience. The audio ecosystem is becoming intricate and fragmented. However, this diversity is a tremendous perfect opportunity.

“This gives us the range of context that allows us to connect with consumers in various ways: how they’re experiencing, what they’re doing, what music they are listening to, and what’s happening in the world and the surrounding area. Learn how brands can help them in these instances, and the results will speak for the brand, which ultimately results in a larger portion of the audio.”

Howard Bareham, co-founder, Trisonic

“‘Education, Education, Education…’ (Tony Blair, 1996)

“The audio industry is in full swing with record-setting radio audiences with new attribution and targeting metrics using digital audio, the introduction of new advertising formats, and course podcasts. There is something for all. However, do companies and brands understand the importance of audio and its possibilities?

“Proof of concept” for agencies or brands through measuring audience or individual campaign results is a debate; however, I’d argue that some don’t have even gotten beyond the first level of audio knowledge, and consequently, the medium might not be an option.

“Agencies can gain that knowledge through advancing their skills and becoming more curious. Brands can self-educate. Media sales organizations can aid by sharing case studies and industry-wide initiatives the audio sector can use, including Radiocentre’s collection of (underused) sources.

“To take another famous phrase”Knowledge is power. Advertisers do not do things they don’t know. Provide them with that understanding, and we’ll see the audio industry getting more out of it.”

Lucy Barrett, client director, Radiocentre

“Get companies to evaluate the impact of radio in a proper manner. At Radiocentre, we know the potential of audio and radio advertising. We strive to persuade agencies and brands to think differently about radio by challenging the assumptions that they may have about the medium.

“As you’ll discover when we present some of the results from our latest research project during the event, our most recent issue is radio’s performance marketing capabilities. We need to divulge more details to show how agencies and brands greatly undervalue radio’s abilities because traditional short-term attribution methods aren’t appropriate in assessing the response of radio ads to high-performance brands.

“With the findings from our research, we can now assist brands, particularly those based on performance, in better knowing how to measure the impact of radio on their brand. This means that they could be investing more of their budgets towards audio and radio to improve the overall effectiveness in their marketing for performance.”

Simon Dyson, senior principal analyst for digital audio at Omdia

“Audio is always a very personal experience. In most cases, listening to recorded music is a one-on-one experience. Every person has their preference for music and, in recent times, their favourite podcast. Additionally, music has always been able to thrive because it is highly adaptable.

“In other words, being everywhere has been the key to winning against other media industries. Even though consumers have limited time to consume music, it is a great way to enjoy it when engaging in different activities.

“No other media can boast this, and so producers of audio content shouldn’t see listening as a battle against other media to hold on to their share of the media pie; it is more of an experience that can enhance other activities.”

Tiffany Ashitey, managing director, US, Acast

“The worldwide market for podcast advertising continues to grow and is booming, with the latest reports forecasting it to grow to $43 billion in 2032. The world’s creator market is growing and booming, and Goldman Sachs predicts a 480 billion value by 2027.

“At Acast, we believe that the connection between the advertising of podcasts and the creation economy is incredibly interconnected, and the most important thing to the success of podcasters who are looking to increase their share of plans for media is to prove their worth, not just with audio but on platforms that complement or reflect their work on podcasts — including social media, video and live events.

“As the advertisers recognize the influence of podcasts on their audience and their engagement, it’s assisting the medium in being viewed as an alternative in the context of other investments into media. Creators must continue cultivating their audience’s loyalty across all audio platforms, as brands are looking for active audiences. People who are engaged will be drawn to the authenticity of the content. To advertisers, it opens up more integrated marketing budgets for investing into podcasters.”

Michal Marcinik, CEO, AdTonos

“The most recent GroupM, along with the IAB Europe report on programmatic audio, lays out the reason behind consumers’ purchase of audio, which is audio measurement. While standards are well-defined, the issue is that audio was often thought of as radio when they were being discussed. The audio world is much larger, expanding into audiobooks, podcasts, gaming streaming, music, and even connected TV in recent times.

“As an industry, we must reconsider the standards for measuring to make them more attractive to customers proficient in digital media and desire the ease with which they can get online. They should be confident in the meaning of a high listening rate, an acceptable audibility average, and how to improve the measurement standards to increase ROI.”

Zoe Cadman, commercial agency director, Global

“Digital audio” is the best way to secure a significant portion of audio in media plans. Additionally, it will allow investing in formats like podcasts, music streaming, and mobile games.

“The advantages and massive dimension that traditional audio provides across the established brands like Capital, LBC and Smooth Radio, for instance -is extensively researched and combining it with the incredible data-driven tracking and measurement capabilities digital channels provide is an easy way to boost the efficiency and impact of the campaign.

“Here at Global, we’ve integrated state-of-the-art technology to target our ads in Dax (our digital advertising exchange), and our partners’ advertising can reach listeners on any device. Also, the partners have access to top-of-the-line, award-winning podcasts such as The News Agents and My Therapist Ghosted Me. They also have access to music streaming on Global Player and SoundCloud and hundreds of mobile-friendly games that we advertise in-game through our partnership, Odeeo.”

Tom Bottomley, head of programming, Journey Further

“Audio is a broad medium that can reach high-quality viewers and increase the reach of other forms of marketing, such as brand ambassadors and influencers. More importantly, it can create one-to-one emotional connections when speaking directly to people.

“Audio’s goal should now be promoting relevancy and ensuring that measurement is future-proofed to allow brands to analyze the ROI in an age of privacy-first. Since relevance is returning to the list of priorities in advertising, progress has been made in gaining a better understanding of the power of audio for those who want to build brands.

“The breadth of topics covered through podcasts alone presents a huge opportunity for contextually relevant advertising that can tap into multiple levels of intent — something pretty unique, especially when it can be backed up by effective measurement.”

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