The spread of digital home assistants such as Amazon Echo and Google Home, along with other IoT applications including smart cars and chat bots, introduces the voice as the next-generation interface. Actually, Gartner predicts that 30% of web browsing sessions will be screenless by 2020, what opens up new horizons for audio content marketing.
It is a fact: The consumption of audio content on the Internet has been growing at a relentless pace in recent years. According to some data collected by ARD and ZDF, the share of digital audio users has increased by 20 % from 2006 to 2016, which means that 64 % of German respondents now consume audio content on the Internet
What are they listening to? Internet live radio programs (29 %), music streaming providers such as Spotify (19 %), other audio files (17 %), time-shifted radio programs (16 %), music portals (15 %), podcasts (13 %), and audiobooks (12 %).
As consumers adopt AI-powered devices and become accustomed to automating their daily tasks, audio content presumably plays a more important role in their busy lives. Parallel to it brands and companies dedicate more efforts to creating more relevant branded audio content in order to adapt successfully to the voice-first scenario and, consequently, to satisfy these new consumer demands.
In this sense, according to an AdAge study on digital audio ads, 67.5 % of marketing and media professionals in the US indicated that they prefer streaming music services when considering buying programmatically, followed by podcasts (41 %) and formatted music channels (37,4 %).
However, marketers should take the singularity of these new non-traditional audio formats into account when designing strategies. At short to medium time, strategies should be targeted in order to be effective.
Spotify is by far the leader in implementing these kinds of targeted campaigns. To this respect, Sven Bieber, Director Audio Sales at Spotify in Berlin indicated recently that “online audio is becoming more and more relevant for young and mobile target groups”, which means that companies and brands are starting to show interest in streaming providers, like Spotify, to run their campaigns at the expense of traditional FM radio programs.
Precisely, Hornbach have created several playlists on their Spotify profile with the objective of creating community around their brand.
Podcasts: the new blogs
In line with the rise of audio content, podcasts are gaining momentum thanks to their hands-free profile. Thus, podcasts are said to outpace blogs as the main channel through which brands and companies share their ideas, knowledge, and further content, while the receptor is driving home, doing a workout at the gym, or cooking at home.
Moreover, they are seen as a powerful tool for delivering engaging content directly to the consumers’ ears, generating traffic, and building stronger relationships with the listeners, who are more likely to keep listening if the content is serialised. There are even translating earpieces on the market ready to be purchased!
In a nutshell, we are approaching a screenless world where audio content will be king and podcasts will become the perfect alternative to video when making marketing.