CES 2024 Key Takeaways

By Reggie Shah, Senior Director, Research & Insights, Audacy

4 Highlights for Marketers

Our Audacy team was excited to join the crowds heading to Vegas this month—covering the most influential tech event in the world. So how did the sights, sounds, and the AI of it all play out? Here are four of the most relevant takeaways for marketers.

Auto, AI, and Delivering on Consumer EV Value

Nothing is more exciting at CES than the latest fleet of high-tech automobiles. Auto manufacturers touted the most innovative features we’ve seen yet—from AI to futuristic models, to progress with EVs.

  • Chatbots in your car: Guess what’s rolling into your ride? Volkswagen, BMW, and Mercedes-Benz have all unveiled plans to integrate generative AI into their cars. VW generated significant excitement by announcing its plans to add ChatGPT—the most well-known AI platform. This AI integration is intended to level up the skills of in-car virtual assistants. These upgrades are anticipated to hit Volkswagen’s lineup later in 2024.
  • Honda’s concept cars: Honda unveiled the ultra-sleek 0 series. These EV models promise performance, stress-free charging, and cabins that encourage passenger interaction. 
  • Consumer Sentiment on EVs: The CTA shared findings from its latest study on EV purchase motivations. We learned that auto manufacturers need to ease consumer anxiety around battery life, charging networks, and overall range. As the most trusted platform, Audio can help educate auto intenders on these issues holding them back from “going electric”. 

Smart Rings, Wearables & The Healing Power of Sound

Hearables. Wearables. Smart watches. Our wearable devices continue to improve with tech innovation, embedded AI features, and new benefits for us.

  • Smart rings slated for widespread adoption: For those ready for a sleeker, more discreet method of tracking our health, smart rings are here. And the forecast for the smart ring sector suggests it will grow to over $1 billion in sales by 2032, per DataHorizon Research. Major tech players are eyeing this lucrative market, with rumors of Samsung soon jumping in.
  • The healing power of sound: In the near future, our favorite smart watches and wearables will redefine music and audio content as the latest wellness tool. We’ll soon be able to do a lot more than track our health metrics. AI applications will enable detected stress, like rising heart rate, to activate a change in what you’re listening to. Suddenly the music gets calmer, soothing sounds blend in. Maybe a favorite podcast is queued up—All in an effort to improve our wellness and physical health.

Bringing the Balance in Your Ad Campaigns

As the alternative to linear TV, CTV got a lot of chatter in the Future of the Connected TV Ecosystem panel. Of course, there was discussion around direct audiences, and targeting fandom. And CTV advertisers are sharply focused on campaigns geared to drive performance. There’s no argument that high-performing ad campaigns are critical. But Hisense TV’s David Vonderhaar, VP of Brand Marketing, put it best when he emphasized the importance of brand stories: the focus solely on performance marketing might diminish the art of storytelling in advertising.

Savvy marketers need to regain the balance in their marketing messages—a healthy combination of brand storytelling and performance ads work best for the longevity of the brand.

Audio Superfans & Monetization 

Excitement in the Audio space came in many forms. One of the most enticing avenues was audience, discussed at the Tech Trends to Watch panel. Audio’s audience continues to expand to make way for new listeners. Podcasting for one, is still in strong growth mode. With millennials and even Gen Z already ensconced with their podcast habits, it’s Gen X and Boomers who are now flocking to the platform. 

The panel also highlighted superfans as emerging audiences such as Swifties (Taylor Swift), BTS Army (BTS), and Barbs (Nicki Minaj). In 2024, we’ll see strategies built around content creation and activating these hyper-engaged fans who will consume more and ultimately spend more.

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