Interactive Advertising Bureau
06 May 2018

Interact 2018: BLOG - Streaming and the Next Frontier: Why Brands Should Listen Up

Held in Milan on 23-24 May, IAB Europe’s Annual 2-day conference Interact 2018 will feature contributions from all stakeholders with a say in the future of the digital ecosystem, from advertisers to publishers, to ad tech businesses, politicians and regulators. Together they’ll examine the forces disrupting digital, how businesses can adapt to thrive, and how we can reinvent the digital ecosystem to provide a firm foundation for business growth in the future.

Ahead of his presentation at Interact 2018,  Marco Bertozzi, VP Sales Europe, Spotify highlights in this blog the main benefits of audio streaming. Read more:

The ubiquity of audio streaming has dramatically changed how and where we listen. With the world’s library of music in the palm of our hands -- and connected in our cars and smart TVs -- we can now soundtrack our lives wherever we are, and whatever we do. Video may have killed the radio star, but Spotify and other streaming platforms have revived the role audio plays at the center of our lives. You might even say that we’re currently undergoing an audio renaissance.

Four Major Trends Converge

Audio’s resurgence has to do with the convergence of a number of different trends. The first, of course, being the rise in audio streaming on platforms like Spotify, and the ease in which we can now access and discover music.

The second trend that has helped push the growing consumer adoption of audio is the internet of things and music’s dominance in connected devices. Today, UK adults are listening to Spotify and other streaming services on their smartphone, in their connected car, or via their smart TV. This is no doubt why, on average, UK adults stream an average of 9+ hours a week and 39% of UK listeners said they listened to digital music services more often than in 2016.

The third major contributor to the boom is the podcast explosion. Ever since Serial, the true-crime podcast, became an international sensation in 2014, podcasts officially went mainstream -- and the interest has proved to be more than just a passing fad. Today, 61% of UK adults regularly listen to podcasts and in 2018, 68% of UK adults said that they were more likely to listen to a podcast today than three years ago. For marketers, the podcast explosion present especially big opportunity, given that 60% of surveyed podcast listeners agreed that they didn’t mind ads, as long as the podcast was free.

Finally, the fourth trend fueling the audio renaissance is the growing market for smart speakers and voice control. 40 percent of U.K. households will own an Echo in 2018 according to Getting Vocal, a study from Radiocentre -- and it is important to note that  95% of users of voice assistants in the UK use it primarily to stream music. The smart speaker market has even pushed some brands to begin considering their audio identity as much as their visual one.

The Nostalgia Factor

But beyond just the market pressures, people are also turning more to audio for psychological and emotional reasons as well. We live in a very visual time, where we’re bombarded on social media and elsewhere with message after message. This was especially evident from findings in our recent millennial study with Y-Pulse. Millennials in the UK, Australia, and US told us that they look to music as an escape from everyday pressures. This is in contrast to social media, which 48% of millennials worry brings them negative effects. Given the current climate, people may be gravitating toward media formats they associate with better times, in an effort to reset and enrich their lives. For marketers, audio streaming is an opportunity to reach audiences who are actively using a platform they associate with more positive feelings.

Audio Streaming: All the Benefits of Digital Media and More

For marketers who are fighting for user attention across screens in an ever-fragmented media landscape, the rise in streaming audio usage coupled with podcast growth, the adoption of voice control, and the nostalgic interest in audio is great news.

That’s because, unlike radio, streaming audio has the same ease and flexibility of other types of digital media. For example, marketers can access streaming platforms like Spotify through a number of programmatic partners. Additionally, many marketers may not even realize that they are even able to use six, 10 and 30 second video assets as well as a number of additional video format types to effectively reinforce their messaging on streaming platforms. Additionally, unlike radio, in which you are regulated to messaging to one large audience, streaming audio provides a number of opportunities to personalize and contextualize your message.

You can learn more about how brands are successfully tapping into the audio streaming opportunity in my talk at Milan Interact, as well as view best practices and case studies here.

Join us at INTERACT 2018 in Milan on 23-24 May 2018! 

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