Advertising in digital audio platforms continues to grow with 75 per cent of media buyers placing ads in podcasts, according to a new IAB report, the Audio Advertising State of the Nation.

The report also highlighted 90 per cent of media buyers are buying ads in streaming services.

Nearly two-thirds of media agencies are regularly using streaming digital audio advertising. Call to action spots are the most popular format of streaming audio and have increased in usage strongly year-on-year.

Brand awareness is the main driver for audio market growth, with 48 per cent of agencies using podcasts primarily for branding. This is up from 35 per cent in 2018.

Gai Le Roy, CEO of IAB Australia said the market has evolved from experimentation into a more strategically driven brand-building approach to digital audio advertising, reflecting the growing consumer consumption of audio formats, particularly podcasting.

She said, “We take very seriously our responsibility as the industry body to invest in research that provides the industry with objective market-wide data and we’ll continue to push hard to secure valuable insights for marketers and agencies alike.”

The audio report said creative was one of audio advertising’s great strength, but also its greatest challenge.

The ease and speed of audio creative development have proven to be a great attraction for agencies, however only 17 per cent of media agencies are consistently tailoring their creative to suit the different audio environments, which is vital when creative is the most important element of campaign impact.

Although brand awareness is the number one objective of audio advertising, only one-third of the buy-side is tracking these metrics and only 25 per cent are tracking sales, the report explained.

As advertisers increase their investment more focus is being paid to the metrics that are being used to measure success. Reach, frequency and completion are the most common metrics for both streaming and podcasts, though agencies are more confident in measuring these metrics for streaming audio compared to podcasts.

Richard Palmer, co-chair of the IAB Audio Council and director of market development at Triton Digital said, “The benefits of digital audio advertising are now widely understood and the market is clearly embracing the branding potential different formats offer.

“Over the next twelve months, we anticipate the industry will come to understand the need to move from repurposing existing ads and instead look to produce creative campaigns tailored to suit the environment in which it appears.”

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