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The role & benefits of digital audio advertising


Audio and Voice
Audio and Voice

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In a world where we often have to choose between brand safe emotional impact and precision targeting and measurement, digital audio’s scale and evidence shows you can have it all writes Global’s Faye McDowall

Digital audio supercharges the well documented emotional benefits of audio

Numerous studies over the years, most recently Denstu’s attention economy (now in its fifth year) identified digital audio as a key driver of attention with digital audio delivering 56% more attentive seconds than TV per 1000 impressions and x10 as efficient as online video for holding attention.

A companion to every part of people’s lives throughout the day, digital audio connects with listeners on a deep level and across all types of audio content. A favourite radio broadcaster has the ability to get you ready for the day ahead. Your latest song obsession, played on repeat, can really get you in the mood for a great workout at the gym. And a podcast that makes you laugh and/or cry, can give you the confidence to try something new.

In the world of mobile gaming, hearing an audio ad while you notch up your first high score of the day on your favourite game provides a moment of distraction from day to day stress.

Advertisers can leverage these powerful moments of connection to deliver positive outcomes. Digital audio’s strength is its flexibility and the breadth of content that connects with audiences at different moments.

So if your goals are anything from awareness to intent and action. Digital audio can help.

Let’s take each in turn.

Awareness goals:

Listening to digital audio continues to grow with the latest MIDAS figures identifying 61% of the population listen to digital audio with double digit growth across most age groups. Scale and advanced targeting options using 1st, 2nd and 3rd party data sources alongside powerful creative messaging, mean digital audio can reach even those hard-to-find audiences.

Action goals:

Solutions such as dynamic creative, mean advertisers can target the most effective moments to trigger the right message, and even add messages in sequence to ensure they are telling the right story at the right time. From audience, to device, weather, location or even using an advertiser’s own customer data – digital audio uses its unique role as a companion to the day to give advertisers access to contextually relevant moments.

Image & meaning goals:

The emotional benefits of music are heavily documented; however, the burgeoning podcast sector is the new, powerful tool for advertisers striving to connect on a deeper level. Podcasts are an intentional listen, chosen because of the appeal of the host or the subject matter and most often a private listen – your audience are invited into an intimate space and advertisers can borrow the influence of the host to convey their brand intentions with a host read or sponsorship.

Intent & understanding goals:

On average digital audio is consumed for 16 hours a week (MIDAS) so naturally delivers strong frequency. We know that some content is more habitual than others though, for example streamed radio still takes the lion’s share of listening hours, but we are seeing huge growth in areas like Podcasts and Mobile Gaming. Conversational targeting in podcasts is a great way to increase opportunities to hear very specific topics e.g. holidays, food, sport. And the dip in and out nature of mobile gaming means that brands have several moments across the day to build regular messaging with target audiences.

The bank of evidence to prove these benefits is growing all the time. Many digital audio media owners can offer brand effectiveness studies – at DAX we have 10 years’ worth of benchmarks for performance at each stage of the purchase funnel. Additionally, more and more media owners are developing their own tools to identify when an action has been taken online after audiences are exposed to an ad within different content and listening devices. These types of effectiveness tools can really help cement the role of digital audio on a media plan – especially when you can look at the contribution of streaming, podcasts and in-game audio ads as a combined ecosystem.

So, in a world where we are all too often having to choose between brand safe emotional impact and precision targeting and measurement – digital audio’s scale and evidence shows you can have it all, emotional benefits AND clever tech such as precision targeting and measurement.

By Faye McDowall, DAX Strategy Director


Global is one of the world’s leading Media & Entertainment groups. With a huge weekly reach, it is the UK and Europe’s largest Radio & Outdoor company.   

Global is home to respected, national, market leading media brands including Capital, Heart, Classic FM, LBC, Global’s Newsroom, Smooth, Radio X, Capital XTRA, Gold and Global Player, which allows listeners to enjoy all of Global’s radio brands, award-winning podcasts, and expertly-curated playlists, in one place in app, on web and on smart speakers.  

Posted on: Thursday 28 March 2024