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What You Need to Know about Digital Audio Advertising

2020 represents a huge shift in the radio landscape for brands and the agencies that support them. eMarketer is projecting that, for the first time ever, U.S. adults will spend more time with digital audio than they do with radio. As more users move to digital audio, having an always-on marketing strategy is crucial.



What is Digital Audio?

Digital audio includes streaming services such as Pandora and Spotify as well as podcasts. While most advertisers have already made large investments in streaming services, investment in podcasts is in its infancy. However, the channel is currently in an explosive growth phase and will become a more foundational advertising vehicle over the next few years. According to eMarketer, it represents an innovative opportunity to buy advertising exclusives and connect with audiences in a deeper and more robust way.


What Does This Mean for Terrestrial Radio?

The growth of digital audio doesn’t mean that terrestrial or traditional radio is going away. It still provides a way for brands to connect with their audiences when the goal is reach and awareness. And, because large radio companies such as iHeart Radio have developed streaming apps for traditional radio, the ability to hyper-target campaigns and connect them with the consumer still exists.


Bringing it All Together

At Underscore, we focus on connecting the various ways that users access media to build more holistic, omni-channel campaigns that deliver efficient, measurable results for our clients. Where possible, we combine digital audio and traditional radio buys using programmatic, which gives us greater control of ad spend and more opportunities to optimize campaigns to drive success. As with all channels, there are moments where a direct buy will work best. For example, when creative vehicles and demographics that skew more traditional are the target, direct terrestrial radio and digital audio buys are more effective.


Regardless of the buying approach, keeping terrestrial radio as a foundational component of your media strategy and making digital audio foundational will help drive optimal results. Assessing the opportunity based on brand and campaign goals is a standard approach to how we plan media. Testing early and often to gather learnings and refine channel engagement ensures that clients are positioned to succeed as the landscape for digital audio and terrestrial radio shifts.

Erica Hawthorne // Director, Digital at Underscore Marketing - a worldwide strategic media company providing ROI solutions in the health & wellness, healthcare and pharma space.


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