Brands and advertisers must be aware of the motivations of listeners.

Advertisers must adapt their audio purchasing to understand why listeners are tuned into various media and channels, according to the top executives in the industry.

A panel discussion at HEARD, the Australian Audio industry’s annual show hosted by CRA, discussed how technology transforms how audio is bought, planned, measured, and optimized.

Venessa Hunt, director of strategy for commercial and growth for ARN, says that turning the radio on in her vehicle in the early morning is different from listening to podcasts while on walks or streaming music playlists in the gym.

“I think what we’ve still got to do as an industry is understand those differences rather than going ‘30% of my audience has now moved to digital, so I’ll split my 10 dollars to go seven and three’; it should be ‘it stays where it is because the audience isn’t decreasing.'”

Olly Newton, the executive head of LiSTNR Commercial at SCA, explained the scenario of no one purchasing a pair of Nikes simultaneously or for the exact reason to illustrate the diverse goals of audio listeners.

“Some people buy when they hear an ad on the radio, some people buy when they’re listening to a podcast talking about trail running, some people buy when they’re streaming music, but we’ve got to get to a point as an industry where we give confidence that we can help advertisers to become more efficient,” the expert says.

“That’s the next frontier – working with people and their customer data platforms that understand how we can keep building the efficiency, knowing different people react to different ads at different times.”

Nicole Bence, NOVA’s chief commercial officer, says that she is often asked whether the ads played on a linear clock radio can have the same impact on the person who listens to the radio as someone who has risen from bed and walked down the stairs to say, ‘ Hello Google Play, I’m listening to the station.’

“It’s the same content listened to at the same time, and it’s the same environment – if you love radio, then the device doesn’t necessarily matter,” she informed the audience.

“I was in a conversation last week regarding the inventory quality, and a customer said that ‘this social media platform for mobile has a low level of attention and the audio is also the same; however, it needs to be.

“If you’re walking around listening to a podcast that’s solving a problem for you, you are more leaned in, and it’s a more intimate experience, but I do think there’s a lot of assumptions we’re making based on what we’ve learned in other channels.”

Spending on podcast audio ads increased by 19.2 per cent during September compared to last year’s September report of the IAB Australian’s Online Advertising Expenditure Report (OAER), which PwC prepared.

Digital audio advertising revenue was up 31% in the fourth quarter of 2023 compared to the same time frame in the prior year.


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