5 Trends Sweeping Through Audio That You'll Want to Listen To

With podcasting's rise in popularity, the industry has renewed relevance

The audio revolution is here and in full swing. From morning news updates to afternoon podcast sessions, audio content is playing an increasingly larger role in our everyday lives. This comeback has also brought opportunities for audio advertisers seeking to target and engage with listeners.

As we approach 2019, now is a great time to take a closer look at where the market is heading and how to take full advantage. Here are the five biggest trends we expect to see in audio in the coming year.

Podcasts and streaming will grow audio

We expect that the audio renaissance will continue, cementing its place as an influential part of the marketing mix. While advertisers will leverage terrestrial and satellite radio opportunities, a significant boost will come from the rise of podcasts and streaming. After all, the proportion of Americans listening to podcasts has nearly doubled, and for the first time, on-demand audio streaming now accounts for a majority of total audio consumption. As advertisers look ahead, podcast and audio streaming opportunities should be at the top of the priority list.

The proportion of Americans listening to podcasts has nearly doubled, and for the first time, on-demand audio streaming now accounts for a majority of total audio consumption.

Audio will increasingly be consumed digitally

Digital consumption of audio is growing rapidly, as more than half of audio content will be shared digitally by 2020. This is thanks to the explosion of streaming services and voice-activated devices.

The targeting capabilities of the digital audio channel are very attractive to advertisers who are able to transact on these key audiences in a digital manner, layering secondary and tertiary audience metrics, and which are able to be purchased through many trading desks and/or programmatic ad platforms. They also view the ability to use dynamic creative, like changing parts of the message based on a listener’s location or other contextual data, to be a benefit.

Podcasts will foster relationships with audiences

The continued growth of podcasting as a medium and investment in podcast advertising provides brands with real opportunities to create audience engagement. Unlike radio listeners, who often skip ads by changing the channel, podcast listeners tend to hang on to every word of the show, ads and all. Podcast listeners tend to have deep respect and trust for the host and are therefore more receptive to the brands that these hosts endorse.

Data from connected cars will cause disruption

Our cars have become a central hub for data, which we oftentimes don’t even realize it, tracking our calls and keeping tabs on our location. As in-car media apps and connected dashboards via systems like Apple CarPlay and Android Auto continue to proliferate, so will the data that comes with it.

For instance, real-time in-car data may teach us that there are other peak moments to reach listeners other than morning and evening. Or we may see advertisers leveraging this data to create more personalized experiences.

AI will build brand relevance

We can’t forget the role of AI in helping to prove the efficacy of audio ad campaigns. In this case, AI doesn’t just mean artificial intelligence—it could also stand for advertising intelligence. With the use of AI, the once-linear data of audio ads can be efficiently tracked and analyzed, providing much-needed contextual relevance and value for brands. In turn, this AI-fueled data can help advertisers take their campaigns to new levels by optimizing audience targeting, creative effectiveness, campaign spend and more.

Holidays may have come early this year for those in the audio advertising industry. As the audio revolution continues full tilt, there’s really never been a better time to take full advantage of audio. While the landscape continues to evolve, it will be important to keep your eyes open to these trends to make the most of this channel in 2019.