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Audio and Podcasts. The untapped potential

Over the years, we've seen the explosion of social media and, more recently, the shift to TV, BVOD and SVOD. Both are great channels and vastly different in cost. The bridesmaid to TV and video content, radio has often been considered expensive, with poor targeting options. But the last couple of years has changed the media landscape and the way we engage with content. So how has audio faired against the perceived juggernauts? 

While many of us (possibly Gen Xers and Boomers) believe music is nowhere near as good as it used to be it doesn't seem to be impacting audio consumption. Screen fatigue has seen audio quietly exceed pre-COVID levels, and much of it has to do with quality content. Recent studies from GWI and Deloitte are showing music streaming, radio and podcasts are consistently noted as a go-to across all demographics -so much so that music streaming is now outperforming pre-pandemic levels. 

Moreover, new digital audio options and podcasts make audience targeting more accessible. And the numbers reported from Commercial Radio Australia are impressive.

  • Overall, radio audiences have increased 5% year on year to May 2022.
  • 11.8 million listeners weekly across five metro city markets.
  • Digital radio (DAB+) and live streaming have seen the most significant increase, with 25% and 34% growth, respectively. This represents a 24% increase over the past year.
  • 5% audience growth all people 10+
  • 8.7% audience growth 25-39
  • Australians downloaded more than half a billion podcasts in 2021 - a 28% increase on 2020
  • Comedy is the top podcast content, representing 22% of total podcast downloads. As an example ending the year 3rd for numbers, April 2022 figures showed Hamish and Andy attracted 937,086 weekly listeners, with 1,899,447 downloads taking the top spot.
  • The fastest-growing podcast categories are business +57% on 2020 figures and health and fitness +54%.  

While Free-to-Air radio still offers limited targeting, it delivers and has an excellent capacity for call-to-action campaigns. Additionally, the Australian Traffic Network allows companies to tap into radio's top content cost-effectively, with curated 10 sec messaging perfect for brands, based on location across primetime commuter slots.

Today, programmatic audio provides a unique way to target, not unlike pre-roll and BVOD do for TV, enabling targetting by topic, interest, demographic, gender and location. Able to combine DAB+, live streaming and podcasts in a single schedule, rates are still relatively high due to some manual elements in the set-up. Still, for the audience targeting provided and capacity to drive conversion, it may well be a media worth reconsidering. 

Overall, the latest stats, indicate audio should now form part of your overall channel strategy. As always, it's a good idea to have a specialist such as The Media Planning Agency on hand to help guide you through the options.

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