Audio is the new black for marketing strategists, with more Australians tuning into digital audio than ever before, creating particularly attractive return potentials for advertisers.
Recent results of a survey conducted by The Infinity Dial Australia showed that the number of Australians listening to audio continues to rise, with Australia even supplanting the United States as the world’s number one podcast listening nation, forcing budgets to be reassessed retailer marketing.
The survey, commissioned by sponsors Commercial Radio Australia (CRA), LiSTNR and Triton Digital, asked respondents to address their listening habits in a study designed to allow direct comparisons between the Australian and US markets. The results of the survey, conducted in early 2022, show that Australians are increasingly embracing audio media, leaving valuable lessons for digital marketing and advertising strategists to learn.
78% of Australians over the age of 12 listen to audio online on a monthly basis, with that number dropping to just 71% of Australians for weekly listening to audio online, according to findings from The Infinite Dial. Either way, results for 2022 continue their year-over-year upward trends, with monthly numbers up 4% and weekly numbers up 5% from 2021 – the numbers for weekly listeners, in particular, posting a dramatic 25% increase over five-year figures. from.
Weekly listeners’ average time spent listening to online audio has also increased, according to the results, with these Australians now spending an average of more than 13 minutes listening to online audio on a weekly basis, up from just more. 12 minutes according to last year’s survey.
But if these figures taken in isolation are illuminating, the question of what listeners are increasingly listening to is even more so. Year-on-year, the number of Australians listening to live or on-demand radio has remained stagnant but not negligible, with 80% of Australians saying they listen to the radio for at least 15 minutes a week for two consecutive years.
Podcasts, meanwhile, emerge as the main driver behind the growing trend of Australians engaging with audio. 26% of Australians said they listened to at least one podcast a week two years in a row and while these numbers don’t seem particularly impressive on their own, it’s a significant increase from just 10% of Australians five years ago.
Expanding the lens to see the number of listeners on a monthly basis, the number of Australians listening to podcasts jumped to 40%, officially surpassing the US where those numbers are 38%.
Other numbers elsewhere help paint the picture of the potentials of marketing through audio.
A 2021 study conducted by information and technology services company Neustar, and commissioned by the audio platform Audacy, analyzed the marketing performance results of more than 40 advertisers in the United States to determine the average results of audio marketing strategies. Evaluating this data, Neustar determined that a shift of as little as 1.2% of marketing investment to audio resulted in a return on advertising spend (ROAS) of 23%.
For retail, specifically, a mere 1.1% increase in audio spend resulted in an average ROAS of 16%.
While overall ad spend in Australia has already hit record highs in the wake of the pandemic, hitting a record high of $775 million in June, increases in ad spend for audio media in particular have grown only modestly. against the backdrop of Australia’s spectacular growth. audiences who have used audio in the past five years.
In the last fiscal year, for example, audio ad spend grew just 11.2%, just 5.5% higher than the increase in magazine ad spend over the same period. . While the number of Australians reading print magazines has risen to 51.5%, according to Roy Morgan Australian Readership Reportthis number is significantly lower than the percentage of Australians who tune in to audio media.
Even from a cost perspective, the difference between print advertising and audio advertising is considerable. In podcasts, for example, the most common form of advertising is where advertisers purchase a “pre-roll ad” with set values for thousands of downloads – called a “cost per mile” (CPM) model. Rates for such a strategy can start from $15-25 for a 15 second ad to just over $100 for a 30 second ad on a “premium” podcast. Compare that to the thousands of dollars it can cost to take up space on a printed page and the appeal of audio is evident again.
Overall, the picture painted of the potential of audio advertising for retailers of all kinds is a no-brainer, with the key to many Australians’ wallets increasingly becoming their ears.
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