Why Audio Is a Powerhouse Medium

Written By

Liz Iversen

Published On

Tuesday, Nov 01
Headphones sitting on a microphone with a blue background.

Audio may be advertising’s most underutilized medium. A 2021 study from WARC found that consumers spend 31% of their media time with audio, but audio only accounts for 8.8% of media budgets. Other media represent 69% of consumer media use and 91.2% of ad spend.

Advertisers would do well to spend their ad dollars where consumers spend their time—especially if they knew how effective audio is at reaching new customers and driving sales. During a recent virtual summit, Mark Stewart, the Association of National Advertisers’ Senior VP of Media, called audio a “powerhouse medium.” 

“When audio’s major platforms are combined – over-the-air, digital streaming, satellite and podcasting – audio is a powerhouse medium like no other,” said Stewart. “Audio is resilient and scaled over-the-air reaches more people per week than any other medium including ad-supported linear TV and video. Audio is effective, and it drives product sales and brand growth. The reason is because it reaches those consumers and prospects underserved by video platforms.”

SMI has long known that good results in one audio medium can become even better when two or more platforms like podcasting, terrestrial radio, and satellite radio are combined.

“The most successful campaigns are those that take advantage of the different media channels audio has to offer – AM/FM Radio, Satellite, Streaming & Podcast,” said Vanessa Verrillo, SMI’s Senior Account Manager, Client Services. “We find the cohesive front across audio types quickly compounds reach, frequency and exposure, which in turn drives listeners who are hearing a brand’s message across various audio platforms to respond and convert.” 

Emily Cashman, Account Manager, SMI’s Client Services, agrees. “By layering different media types, SMI has been able to successfully target key audiences that are missed by digital platforms. Each media type has different strengths —for instance, Network has large reach but local has high frequency. When we combine different media types, we can both tap into a demographic and also layer the media in a way that creates strong response to build our clients’ brands.”


Are you ready to advertise on the powerhouse medium of audio? Contact SMI today to hear your brand on broadcast, streaming, or satellite radio, as well as podcasts.

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