It’s Time For Brands to Jump on the Internet Radio Train

Spotify might not be making any money, but it’s here to stay—and it’s time for brands to figure out how to make the most of it.

The company recently worked with competitors Pandora and TuneIn on an Edison Research study meant to sway skeptical advertisers who may doubt the trend’s influence and staying power. Here are their most significant findings:

  • 53% of Americans listen to Internet radio in some form.
  • 32% are doing so “a lot” more often than one year ago.
  • The new wave of Internet radio providers has led to Americans spending more time with audio content, be it music, news or live events: 26% say the time they spend listening is simply “new audio time” that doesn’t replace any particular activity.

Here’s the full Prezi presentation if you’re interested. Infographic after the jump.

As Edison president Larry Rosin put it:

…advertisers should be putting more money into the audio category – because people are filling more of their days with more and more audio.

We’re not exactly sure how brands can align with Spotify, Pandora, or other radio providers beyond airing ads that will only be heard by those who don’t pay for the service—that’s 75% of the audience or 18 million current users. One possibility is promoting songs that feature prominently in commercials or personify certain products by sharing links to these tracks. But for the most part the promos will almost certainly consist of traditional audio advertising spots placed with Spotify’s “clever” targeting algorithm.

Will “songs you sing in the shower” playlists sponsored by Herbal Essences provide the model for partnerships? Color us skeptical.