Brands and advertisers have to understand listener motivations

Jason Pollock
By Jason Pollock | 16 February 2024

Advertisers need to tailor their audio buying to match understanding of why listeners tune into different mediums and content, according to industry executives.

A panel at HEARD, the Australian audio industry’s annual showcase presented by CRA, looked at how technology is reshaping the way audio is planned, bought, measured and optimised.

Venessa Hunt, director of commercial strategy and growth at ARN, says the reason she has the radio on in the car in the morning is different to listening to podcasts on a walk or a streaming a music playlist at 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, executive head of LiSTNR Commercial at SCA, gave the example of no-one buying a pair of Nikes at the same time or necessarily for the same reason to illustrate the varied intentions of audio audiences.

“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,” he 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 she often gets asked around whether an ad played on a traditional linear clock radio has as much impact on the person listening to it as if they got out of bed, walked downstairs and said, ‘Hello Google play, me this 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 told the audience.

“I had a conversation this week where we were talking about the quality of inventory and a client said ‘this social media platform on mobile has a really low attention score, audio is the same’, but it's actually not.

“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.”

Podcast digital audio advertising spend was up 19.2% in the September quarter compared to the same period last year, according to the September IAB Australia’s Online Advertising Expenditure Report (OAER), prepared by PwC.

Digital audio ad revenue was up 31% for Q4 2023, compared to the same period last year.

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