Here’s an easy question: did you listen to music on your phone or another streaming device in the last few days? (Bonus points if you listen to the monthly NetCon Mixtape on Spotify!) How about a podcast? If you listened to one recently, you are a part of the 73 million Americans who listen to a podcast at least once a month. There will be 201.5 million US digital audio listeners (of music, podcasts and audiobooks) this year according to eMarketer, making up 76.6% of all internet users. By 2023, that number is likely to grow to 216.2 million or nearly 64% of the entire US population.
Naturally, marketers are excited about that kind of reach. But connecting with digital audio listeners is somewhat complicated. Here’s the breakdown by type of media:
Several challenges are slowing down advertising in the digital audio category, including a fragmented publisher landscape, not enough programmatic buying options and insufficient measurement, all of which the industry is working hard to resolve.
Until it does, consider dipping your toes in digital audio via alternatives, such as branded podcasts or sponsored content. Gimlet Media and Anchor, a producer of branded content and a podcasting services firm, respectively, can make it easy for brands to make their own podcasts. Both were recently purchased by Spotify. Branded podcasts have a good track record: for example, Trader Joe’s podcast, for example, ranks in the top 1 percent of all podcast downloads, regardless of genre. GE’s fictional show, “The Message,” is regarded by many as the most successful branded podcast ever, garnering more than 8 million downloads since its release. A the best branded podcasts, have three things in common, says AdAge: they go easy with the sales pitch, sound authentic, and talk about issues relevant to their target audiences.