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How Audio is Making a Resounding Comeback in 2023

The Audio Renaissance

With the rapid technological advancement of recent years, it's no surprise that the media landscape is continually evolving. Social media, BVOD, and SVOD once took the limelight. TV and video content surged ahead. Yet, radio often found itself in the shadows, being perceived as an expensive option with limited targeting.

However, the tables are turning. According to the recent Infinite Dial Australia Report, the media panorama of 2023 looks vastly different. So, where does audio stand amidst the contemporary media giants?

For many, especially the Gen Xers and Boomers, there's a nostalgic sentiment that music "just isn't what it used to be". Yet, this hasn't dampened the world's enthusiasm for audio. As screen fatigue sets in post-COVID, audio content has experienced a boom, exceeding even its pre-pandemic consumption. Quality content is the driving force behind this surge, with platforms like GWI and Deloitte indicating that music streaming, radio, and podcasts have become staples across all demographic brackets. In fact, music streaming's growth has rocketed beyond its pre-pandemic figures.

The expanding digital audio horizon, replete with a multitude of podcasts, has revolutionised audience targeting. The statistics from Commercial Radio Australia for 2023 are nothing short of stellar:

Radio is Resonating: Radio listenership has seen a steady 6% YoY increase up to May 2023.

City Buzz: 12.5 million listeners are tuning in weekly across the five major metro city markets.

Digital Growth: Digital radio (DAB+) and live streaming have seen a meteoric rise with 28% and 38% growth respectively, marking an overall increase of 26% from the previous year.

Demographic Growth: Audience growth has seen an uptick with 6% across all individuals aged 10+, and a remarkable 9.5% increase in the 25-39 age bracket.

Podcast Popularity: Australians downloaded a staggering 650 million podcasts in 2022, a significant 32% leap from 2021.

Laugh Out Loud: Comedy remains the reigning champion in podcast content, with Hamish and Andy clocking in a whopping 1,200,000 weekly listeners as of April 2023, with 2,300,000 downloads.

Emerging Interests: Business podcasts witnessed a 60% surge compared to 2021 figures, while health and fitness genres experienced a growth of 56%.

Though Free-to-Air radio does have its limitations when it comes to targeting, it's undeniably effective for call-to-action campaigns. Leveraging tools like the Australian Traffic Network, businesses can economically capitalise on radio's most engaging content, using tailored 10-second messages to resonate with their audience during prime commuting hours.

As we delve deeper into 2023, programmatic audio emerges as the game-changer. Mirroring the targeting precision of pre-roll and BVOD in TV, it facilitates nuanced targeting based on topic, interest, demographics, and even location. Although DAB+, live streaming, and podcasts in a single schedule do still require some manual elements, making rates somewhat premium, the unparalleled audience targeting and conversion-driving potential make audio a formidable contender in the media arena.

In sum, the current statistics from the Infinite Dial Australia Report make it abundantly clear: audio is not just a nostalgic throwback; it's a force to be reckoned with in 2023. It's imperative for businesses to harness this channel, and expert guidance, such as that from The Media Planning Agency, could be the key to navigating this sonic wave effectively.



About the author

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Cath is Head of Strategy at MPA. A seasoned professional in marketing and media, Cath has worked across multiple Agencies and Clients from multinationals to start-ups

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