April 12, 2023

Audio Myths, Busted

by Idil Cakim SVP of Research & Insights, with Euna Park, Audacy Insights Analyst

Audio is much more than a personal playlist. It has scale – connecting marketers with audiences across every life stage, with immense programming variety over radio, streaming, and podcasts. That’s how Audio boosts impact. From the smart speaker in our kitchen to the radio in our cars, from the pods that make the walk to the office more enjoyable to the soothing playlists that help us wind down at night, it’s in every moment of our daily lives. Taking advantage of Audio’s flexibility and range leads to smarter, more optimized media plans.

While the rise of digital audio may have put the spotlight on pureplays, what’s easy to overlook is that Spotify and Pandora only bring a sliver of their audience to their advertisers. A significant portion of their audience opts out of hearing advertising, reducing their chances to hear from brands. In fact, since 2017, the amount of time spent on listening to ad-supported Spotify has dropped from 45% to 35%.

Audacy leads ad-supported Audio options, with content reaching 200 million listeners. But do we see AM/FM radio fading? Do our listeners tune in passively? We’ll dig into these myths about Audio’s effectiveness and radio’s prevalence and show just why we’re still at the top in reach and trust.

Myth #1:
AM/FM Radio is Fading Away 

While Podcasts and streaming Audio are more popular than ever, they’re still a tiny fraction of the ad-supported Audio universe. At a whopping 69%, AM/FM radio garners significantly more share of listening time than all other ad-supported Audio sources combined. 

AM/FM radio listenership is also very exclusive. Only 6% of AM/FM listeners also listen to Pandora or Sirius, and for Spotify, it drops to 4%.

Technological advancements have certainly changed the way people listen to Audio. As listeners switch over to digital options for their favorite AM/FM radio stations, they’re also adding podcasts and streaming to their Audio mix. Three in four Americans aged 12 and up, and 87% of those aged 25 to 54, have listened to streaming over-the-air platforms in the last month. According to Infinite Dial, the average podcast listener aged 12 and older spent more than nine hours – twice as much as eight years ago – listening to a podcast during a typical week.

Listeners aren’t giving up their favorite stations, but they are following their favorite content across platforms and devices. They split their time between radio and streaming Audio platforms. That means there are opportunities to communicate with a broad audience wherever, whenever.

Myth #2:
Audio is mostly personal playlists and may not move the needle

Not true. The trust people have in their Audio sources is a golden opportunity to mobilize communities and stay top of mind. Audacy’s Engaged Impressions study shows that OTA, streaming OTA, and podcasts still earn the highest level of trust among listeners. Then TV, then print, then social media… and at the bottom of the list lie the digital pure play options. Listeners aren’t just passively tuning in to Audio shows and hosts either – they’re passionate about their favorite voices, and their trust drives loyal listening and purchase decisions. 

Audacy offers a total Audio portfolio encompassing sports, news, music and more, with a robust audience on radio, podcast, and streaming platforms – all fully accessible through ads. This massive selection of Audio options also features trusted, beloved hosts and programming that keep listeners coming back for more.

So when it’s time to choose your best Audio advertising option, take advantage of Audacy’s lead and Audio’s range. And optimize your media plan by going where your target audience spends their time and choosing the content they love. 

Want to talk more about reaching your target audience?

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