Over the last 18 months we have seen audio play a more central role in marketing plans driven by advances within voice and artificial intelligence leading to new opportunities to spend with digital audio.
eMarketer has predicted that in 2021 adults will spend more time listening to digital audio devices versus traditional radio devices. They also predict people spending more time on digital audio apps versus any other mobile app activity including social media, video and gaming. This is backed up in this market with IAB Ireland research stating that 2.53 million Irish adults (71%) listened to digital audio in an average week in 2021.
Audio technology has also accelerated and it was reported that 86% of the UK population have used voice assisted tech in the last 6 months. Touch technology has naturally been reduced due to the pandemic with audio playing a more important role in areas like retail and travel. Voice commerce is going to rise over the next few years and this will change the way we shop. We’ll see headphones and audio devices that are already being used in everyday life become tools to help people purchase goods online.
The investment going into the audio space gives an idea of the potential opportunity, for example Spotify recently bought Locker Room for a reported $50million. Like Clubhouse, Locker Room hosts live conversations between listeners and hosts.
Audio has the ability to reach consumers within heightened moments and when it isn’t possible to do it visually. There’s also evidence of it being very effective with Nielsen in the UK reporting up to an 160% increase in purchase intent for campaigns including audio elements versus video only.
Voice integration will soon come to be expected with marketers having to focus on content that builds helpful nudges on the path to purchase. Nationwide have already adopted this and launched ‘Local Voices’. Prospective buyers can familiarise themselves with the area of their choice by asking their voice activated device to open Nationwide local voices and to select a location. A local voice from that area will tell them about the culture, community and places within that area.
The future of audio is bright, offering new ways to engage customers, inform listeners and create immediate calls to action or responses from the listener.
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