Digital audio’s growth increases the opportunity for brands to target hard to reach audiences

By James Digby, Head of Digital Audio, Bauer Media

The latest IAB Listening Britain results paint a very healthy picture for Digital Audio as overall audience numbers grow to reach a huge 29.6 million in the UK weekly – up 3.2M YoY. This correlates with the explosion of world-class audio content we’ve seen across the year, including eight of our own new digital radio stations from Absolute Radio 10s to KISS Ibiza and KISS Garage. Get ready for this output of content to expand further in 2020 as more players enter the digital audio game.

As ways to access audio content increase and audience behaviour evolves, there’s no better time for brands to make use of digital audio to reach engaged audiences. Interestingly these results show that of those that listen to digital audio throughout the week, the hard-to-reach 15-24 year old audience has grown to 32%. This bucks the trend of conversation deeming this demographic are switching off from audio, if anything they are turning more to audio! 

Arguably, it is this explosion of digital audio content bringing youth audiences back to consume over 14.8 hours every week. The launches of KISS’ new sister stations: KISS Ibiza, KISS Garage and KISS Grime this year offer a unique listening experience with genre-specific playlists from an iconic brand audiences know and love to act as the perfect 1:1 companion whilst they are studying, driving, exercising or relaxing. 

Digital audio advertising is also uniquely placed to allow brands to target these audiences whilst carrying out certain activities to supercharge ad-effectiveness as shown by Radiocentre’s ‘Hear and Now’ research. With the increased use of innovative ad formats such as ShakeMe to accompany the growth in smartphone usage in consuming digital audio (now at 64%), the future looks bright for brands wanting to engage with these hard-to-reach audiences. 

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