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MBuzz: Keep Listening, Advertising in the Digital Audio Space

May 17, 2022

Fill Me In:

Digital audio has added a soundtrack to our mundane activities, and it is easier than ever. In turn, marketers have a new route to reach people while they are not looking directly at a screen. There are a variety of Digital Audio options (music streaming, live talk, online radio, sports, and podcasts), each with different considerations for advertisers. Digital Audio offers an inherently more personalized and intimate experience for listeners, making this an incredibly influential channel that builds brand trust in a way other media does not.

What People are Saying/What this means:

Digital Audio is the second most popular online activity behind video, attracting over 204M listeners. In fact, 50% of Millennials and Gen Z will listen passively while cooking, cleaning, or doing other household activities. Podcasts, music and audio books serve as the primary content for digital audio. Audio consumption can be active or passive, making it the ultimate multitasking media channel any time of day. While podcast listeners account for a smaller portion of US internet users, they are the fastest-growing audience in the digital audio space and have an incredibly loyal following. Thus, advertisers that choose to collaborate with hosts to read their ads are offering a custom recommendation from an entertainer that listeners already inherently trust. Even YouTube is also leaning further into audio, offering certain podcasters cash incentives to produce video versions of their shows.


Marketers with a predominant target audience of millennials or gen z, ought to be making use of advertising in the digital audio sphere. Specifically, when targeting younger generations, we strongly recommend partnering with popular podcasts that resonate with your brand’s messaging. With the internal innovation that digital audio has been cranking out over the past few years, we can anticipate the channel will only grow in popularity for listeners and advertisers alike. We cannot predict the next innovations in digital audio, but whatever happens next sounds good to us.

Music streaming is a particularly popular channel, but is often not ad-supported, which can prove challenging for advertisers. We recommend opting for a programmatic route to reach users via this medium for their high efficiency and cost-effective methods. Several new platforms are entering the audio space, while major players continue to focus on innovative ad formats, stronger measurement, and better targeting such as new ad insertion products and private marketplaces just for podcasts.