‘It has to be unskippable’: Aussie agencies buy into digital audio advertising

IAB Australia’s Australian Audio State of the Nation Report shows that 90% of agencies have used audio advertising this year, with streaming digital audio being utilised as a significant or regular part of campaigns for 83% of media agencies.

The report, the results of which were presented at the IAB Audio Summit in Sydney on Wednesday afternoon, highlighted the ‘greatest opportunities’ for growth within the space.

Among these were sophisticated targeting and personalisation, standardising ways to measure incremental reach, attribution, and cross-platform effectiveness, improving programmatic supply, and the use of AI around content and ad creation. 61% of respondents plan to increase their investment in streaming audio over the next year, with 64% planning to advertise more on podcasts.

Brand building is the dominant campaign objective for media agencies using digital audio advertising, with 87% using streaming audio, and 80% using podcast advertising for brand awareness.

Interestingly, audio is rarely used for increasing sales or conversions, with only 33% saying they use streaming for this, and only 30% expecting a sales bump from podcast advertising.

Data and targeting is the main driver of buying digital audio advertising programmatically, with price the second most important. Entertainment and lifestyle podcasts were the most popular genre for agency advertisers.

Audience attention and engagement was seen to be the key driver for audio investment, followed by incremental reach, and ability to complement other media.

This final point speaks to Mark Ritson’s recent research, in which he noted that allocating just 11% of your marketing budget on radio can double the effectiveness of an overall campaign.

“A small amount of radio really makes everything else work better,” Ritson told Mumbrella.

“People are buying digital advertising advertising in combination with other digital display formats, in combination with broadcast radio advertising” Natalie Stanbury, director of research at IAB Australia, told the audience this afternoon, saying this practice is expected to increase this year.

“There’s an awful lot to love about digital audio advertising,” said Ralph van Dijk, founder of Eardrum.

“Targeting, engagement, listen loyalty, attribution as well, as if you’re using promo codes – yet, some brands have been very reluctant to use audio, or explore streaming podcast advertising, because of a lack of confidence in the creative.”

van Dijk has been writing and producing award-winning advertising for 30 years.

“It’s our belief that there isn’t a product or a category that can’t exist in compelling audio,” he continued.

“But it doesn’t need to be compelling. It has to be unskippable. Because, we’re up against that knee jerk reaction, to be able to depart anything that doesn’t actually draw us in, or isn’t engaging.”



Gai Le Roy, CEO of IAB Australia said: “Over the last 12 months, digital audio and podcasting has been one of the fastest growing areas of the digital advertising ecosystem, and the results in the latest Audio Advertising State of the Nation Report indicate that this will continue throughout 2024.

“With buyers appreciating the complementary nature of audio with other digital opportunities, we are likely to see digital being increasingly included in omni-channel campaigns and welcoming a range of new advertisers to the power of audio advertising.”

Richard Palmer, director of marketing development at Triton Digital, notes that most advertisers are now “consistently considering digital audio advertising to reach highly engaged audiences.”

The report comes two days after Monday’s IAB Online Advertising Expenditure Report which found digital audio revenue reached $265.8m during 2023.

“There’s no doubt the future sounds good for audio digital”, Palmer concludes.


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