The following is a guest post from Inbal Lavi, CEO of performance marketing company Webpals Group.
Hundreds of millions of consumers worldwide are tuning in to the audio streaming revolution, using their connected devices to stream their favorite artists, listen to podcasts and keep abreast of the news. Spotify alone boasted 70 million subscribers worldwide this January, a 133% increase over the 30 million subscribers in March 2016. Each month, an estimated 180 million Americans stream music, radio, and podcasts on their devices, listening on their mobile phones or desktops, in their cars and on their TVs.
For marketers, this presents multi-channel opportunities — and given an ever-expanding audio audience, they can ill afford to ignore audio streaming as part of their advertising campaigns. Streaming services offer marketers ample audience data, significant conversion potential and increasingly advanced technologies for optimizing their advertising efforts. So how can the marketing industry capitalize on these services?
Audience data is perhaps the most indispensable tool in a streaming service's arsenal. The data on streaming apps provides illuminating insight into user preferences, affinities, location and the demographic breakdown of key audiences. Targeting an advertising campaign to reach 25- to 34-year-old women? Apps like Pandora can help identify the most popular artists among that demographic so marketers can plan their ad spend accordingly.
Knowing which content a target audience engages with is crucial to developing audio advertising that will resonate and inspire conversions. The return on audio investment can be significant. According to a 2014 Nielsen Catalina Solutions study, each dollar spent on a radio ad yields an average sales return of $6. Segmenting audiences on streaming services is especially helpful in maximizing ROI. A Kellogg's Pop-Tarts campaign targeting teen listeners on Pandora generated an ROI of three times, according to figures from the company.
Recent investments by publishers and streaming services attest to their commitment in partnering with marketers to monetize growing audiences. Pandora recently completed a $145 million deal to purchase AdsWizz, a digital audio ad tech company, and Google recently announced the launch of programmatic audio ads to be featured on Spotify, SoundCloud, TuneIn and Google Play Music.
Such investments promise to deliver a major boom in audio marketing, matching advertisers with high-value audiences. With legions of listeners, streaming services offer rich opportunities for doing just that, and truly amplifying an audio ad campaign means knowing precisely who to target and where. That's precisely the information that audio streamers can provide.
Ignoring the audio revolution simply isn't an option for brands. Marketers pay heed to strategies surrounding social media, influencers, email, digital, print and content. Just as they consider each of these in planning their advertising initiatives, they must also be prepared to deploy an effective audio strategy. The data doesn't lie: Audio is simply too vital an opportunity to pass up. So tune in, turn up the volume and enjoy the rhythm of customers coming your way.