Why You Should Triple Your Audio Ad Spend

Written By

Liz Iversen

Published On

Thursday, Oct 21
Man and women in front seat of a car. They are smiling at each other while the man is driving.
A new study called “The Investment Gap: Understanding the Value of Audio” reveals that brands are overspending on TV and digital and underspending on audio. The “investment gap” is this: 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. 

iHeartMedia and WARC developed the study because audio is under-researched as a platform for reach growth and expanded share of consumer attention. “The study investigates whether there’s a disjoint between consumer consumption and media allocation of audio as a channel,” Paul Coxhill, Managing Director at WARC, said. “The findings are fascinating and demonstrate a real opportunity for brands to expand their brand reach and, if done well, their share of consumer attention by expanding the role of Audio in their media mix.”

WARC’s analysis revealed brands are overspending on TV and digital by 32% and underspending on audio by a factor of 3X. In other words, based on consumer time spent with each medium, audio spend is only 28% of what it should be. WARC advised advertisers to “spend their money where the audience spends their time.”

The study pointed out a number of benefits to increasing audio spend:

  • Greater share of voice: When advertising on TV or digital, brands have to “fight much harder for consumer attention” because most ad categories are overspent and achieving share of voice is difficult. There is less competition in the audio medium, which gives advertisers more opportunity to obtain an “unfair” share of voice.
  • Higher levels of audience engagement: Listeners’ strong relationships with preferred stations, hosts, and platforms, powerful context and relevance for brands.
  • More effective ads: Listeners respond more to audio ads due to strong levels of trust.
  • Greater Audience Attention: Visual ads are increasingly challenged to achieve consumer attention and recall.

Are you ready to put your marketing budget where your audience spends their time? Contact SMI to hear your commercial on AM/FM, satellite, streaming radio, or podcasts.

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