ARN’s Neuro Lab investigates power of radio engagement for advertisers

Australian Radio Network’s Neuro Lab has finally released its first piece of research: a study into how the brain processes radio, podcasting and music streaming as fundamentally different products.

ARN’s Sound You Can See research used neuroscience to demonstrate the power of audio, reinforcing that the aforementioned products can offer advertisers a range of opportunities to promote brands across each medium.

The research measured attention, engagement, attitude, and memory by mapping brain activity of people engaging with both audio content and advertising.

Led by research & neuroscience specialist, Dr Shannon Bosshard and ARN director of research & insights, Justin Stone, the Sound You Can See study measured how listeners connected with the different formats by analysing 40,000 data points each second.

Dr Shannon Bosshard, Justin Stone

Specific findings from the research included that radio has 60% more neural engagement than other audio formats. Meanwhile, podcasting provided an environment primed for high levels of memory encoding.

When it came to music streaming, it was shown to create strong, positive attitudes towards brands among listeners.

Releasing the study, ARN pointed to implications for brands including that advertising within radio can be created with a higher degree of creative flexibility without the content being disrupting the listening experience.

In addition, advertisers should plan more considered messaging across the different audio channels.

Listeners’ engagement towards radio, podcasting and music streaming [click to enlarge]

“The use of neuroscience to complement traditional marketing techniques will produce a much more comprehensive view of how our listeners interact with audio formats.

“The response from agencies has been one of enthusiasm, providing never-before-seen insight into how clients’ campaigns perform in an audio environment”.

Dr Bosshard said the research signified the first time anyone has demonstrated in the manner in which radio, podcasting and music streaming are processed differently by the brain.

“Radio, podcasting, and music streaming are fundamentally different products, each offering advertisers with unique opportunities to promote their brands. Until now, no commercial or academic entity has assessed the differences in these three audio products,” he said.

“This is the first time that anyone has demonstrated, from the perspective of the brain, that radio, podcasting, and music streaming are processed differently and should be treated differently, in the same manner that audio and audio-visual mediums have been.”

The research follows ARN’s rollout of its Dynamic Audio 2.0 offering, giving brands premium access to ARN’s audio assets with industry-leading contextual integration.


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