More people are consuming digital audio than ever before, including digital radio and podcasts – where podcasts are now racking up to 7.6 million weekly listens in the UK, up by a quarter in just a year. As a result, 86% of agencies and 66% of advertisers surveyed now see digital audio as an important part of most media strategies.

According to The Rise of Digital Audio Advertising study from Global-owned digital audio advertising platform DAX, three-quarters (75%) of advertisers plan to increase ad spend in podcasts this year. DAX surveyed 215 manager-level or above employees at media agencies and advertisers in the UK. 

By device, 75% of digital audio is still consumed on PCs and smartphones, with 17% now being consumed on smart speakers, creating new opportunities for advertisers.

“The rise of smart speakers has led to a surge in brands and advertisers prioritising digital audio as an essential part of their campaigns. Digital audio is already an important part of many listeners daily habits and advertisers are eyeing further opportunities to reach even more listeners, with the rollout of 5G enabling widespread adoption of connected cars,” said Ollie Deane, director of commercial digital at Global.

Digital audio is increasingly perceived by agencies and advertisers as a rich creative medium, with 78% of survey respondents stating that listeners are highly engaged with digital audio because of the great content that’s available.

Effective measurement needed

However, despite the positive outcomes of digital audio, there are some challenges around the effective measurement and attribution of the channel. 53% of respondents said that streaming audio enables them to target the right people at the right time. However, those surveyed also said they lack awareness about the availability of measurement and attribution tools.

It is evident that further industry education is required to ensure that advertisers understand how to attribute a return on investment to digital audio and digital audio’s potential as a powerful advertising medium is recognised. 

“The report identifies the growth of podcasts as a key factor for driving change around the way audio is planned and bought. Contextual advertising across a range of verticals – from sport to business and well-being – coupled with a range of different ad formats, has presented advertisers and agencies with many different options suited to a wide variety of brands,” Deane added.