The number of media agencies using podcast advertising regularly has nearly tripled in the last year (from five percent in December 2016 to 14 percent in December 2017), IAB Australia’s Audio Advertising State of the Nation research found. A further seven in ten agencies are either experimenting with it or looking to experiment with it this year. The emergence of new audio advertising options is invigorating the whole audio market with media buyers increasing their usage of all forms; broadcast, digital, streaming and podcasts over the last twelve months. In addition, three quarters of agencies are now planning their broadcast radio and streaming audio advertising activity side by side.
Vijay Solanki, CEO of IAB Australia, noted, “With 13.6 million Australians streaming audio content on their digital device in December 2017, it follows that the buying community is continuing to increase investment in streaming ad opportunities. With the explosion of podcasting at both a content & consumer levels, I expect to see more brands stepping in but the opportunity is in brand integration and not spots and dots. It’s also good to see integration of audio happening as agencies have been asking for that for over a year.”
In the USA, podcasting ad revenues are expected to reach over $220 million in 2017, an 85 per cent increase from 2016. This growth trajectory is expected to follow in the Australian market with the research revealing that agencies are looking to trial different forms of podcasting advertising in 2018; with many looking at integrated native options and bespoke podcasts for brands.
Steve Brown, Head of Digital Innovation and Operations at Southern Cross Austereo, noted, “The research supports the activity we are seeing here at SCA with clients embracing our online, streaming, podcasting and digital radio audiences, in-line with increasing appetite for broadcast inventory. It is very pleasing to see that audio in all its forms is continuing to grow strongly in buyer interest, audience and revenue when other mediums are under pressure!”
However, although agencies are embracing streaming and podcasting, they are less certain about their plans to help clients with voice marketing in 2018. Only 13 per cent of agencies are currently working on voice strategies and over half are unsure of their plans for voice marketing in 2018.
Gai Le Roy, Director of Research of IAB Australia, stressed, “Consumer usage of voice-assisted technology and devices will take off in 2018 and while marketers are reviewing their opportunities in this space carefully, media agencies need to quickly assess their role and approach to voice marketing on behalf of their clients. Expect to see measurement improve as new guidelines from IAB US come into play in the next 12 months.”
The research was coordinated by the IAB Audio Council with representatives of broadcasters, streaming services, creative agencies and tech companies. It was conducted by independent research company Hoop Group and canvassed information on the experiences and opinions of over 150 media agency executives and marketers. The research is available for IAB members and can be downloaded here.