SCA’s world-first study with Amplified Intelligence into global broadcast audio attention

SCA is paving the way to measure broadcast audio attention, with a world-first feasibility study to test broadcast audio attention globally in partnership with Professor Karen Nelson-Field’s Amplified Intelligence.

SCA is the first audio company internationally to pioneer measurement of broadcast audio attention to understand how live radio influences brand choice to exposed listeners.

SCA’s insights division, SCAiQ worked with Amplified Intelligence, global leader in attention testing, and Professor Nelson-Field to conduct a feasibility study into broadcast audio attention.

The exploratory study required Professor Nelson-Field to devise a new methodology to re-engineer existing visual media techniques to measure the impact of sound.

Among the initial findings, the study revealed that broadcast audio commands high attention, on par with other broadcast mediums, while SCA’s suite of audio performed better than some visual attention counterparts in the digital media space.

What the attention economy means for radio marketers

Commercial Radio Australia (CRA) and its members have committed to continue this testing to develop audio attention metrics for broadcast audio and podcasting.

When it comes to marketers discussing the attention economy, coverage and metrics are primarily focused on visual attention, rather than audio attention. Given that audio can be a highly attention-amplifying medium, it’s important that advertisers and broadcasters assess how to leverage it.

Neuro research by ARN showed that when fully attentive (i.e. actively listening), advertising impact is above 78%. As consumers’ attention lowered, and only partial attention was given to audio advertising, impact remained relatively high at 58%.

When the consumer was fully distracted, and attention was at its lowest, audio maintained 30% of its advertising impact.

Levels of attention vary depending on the format and content of the audio. Some audio requires listeners to ‘lean in’ (like podcasts or spoken word), whereas others, like music, encourage listeners to ‘lean back’.

In May 2022, IAB Australia’s Audio Council found that 37% of Australians listen to podcasts every month, with a forecast of over 7.4m podcast listeners in Australia for 2022.

In Q1 2021, PwC research revealed that SCA’s Listnr app launch and the growing volumes of podcast listenership point to ongoing reconfiguration in the audio content segment – more Australians are listening to podcasts year-on-year, meaning more opportunities for advertisers to reach listeners.

According to Triton’s Podcast Measurement service, 50.2 million podcasts (excluding ABC) were listened to in Australia in May 2021, with podcast listeners expected to reach 15.4 million by 2025.

Nelson-Field, founder of Amplified Intelligence, is also the author of a book titled ‘The Attention Economy and How Media Works: Simple Truths for Marketers’, which looks at ‘what it will take for businesses to win in an attention economy, the advertising myths we need to leave behind and the scientific evidence we can use to navigate a complex advertising and media ecosystem’.

“Audio formats hold an important place in a visually tired society, they have the potential to drive solid attention from their listeners. Our initial feasibility study with SCA established a rigorous methodology for measuring attention for audio, and we are excited to continue our work with them to extract true value from attention insights for their advertisers.” said Professor Nelson-Field.

Professor Karen Nelson-Field

“The attention economy is the new oil for marketers and this world first test of audio attention has the real ability to change the way they look at audio. More Australians are listening to more audio across more devices and their ‘audio diet’ continues to grow, with 16.8 million people tuning into audio every week. SCA has a compelling and trusted suite of premium Australian voices that connect and create high attention opportunities for advertisers. An audio attention metric is the missing piece of the puzzle to prove that relationship,” said SCA CEO, Grant Blackley.

Pioneering audio insights for advertisers

SCAiQ head of sales insights & campaign strategy, Abi Wallis, said: “To date, the buzz around attention has focused on visual mediums, yet broadcast audio gets brands noticed and thought of in buying situations. Audio needed to be a part of this important conversation. Preliminary findings from SCAiQ’s study with Amplified Intelligence validates environments we know to be powerful, signalling that broadcast audio attracts focused attention. We’re excited that the CRA and our industry partners recognise the importance of getting audio attention into play and will continue this testing as a group.”

“As an industry leader and innovator, SCA is committed to finding the most robust audio insights for advertisers. As the first audio network to test attention, SCA is pioneering broadcast audio attention and we also look forward to working with the audio industry and CRA in furthering this important work,” added Blackley.

Related: QMS to release OOH attention study with Amplified Intelligence


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