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    What Is Audio Advertising? Getting Started With Audio Ads

    PPCPPC Basics

    People on the go aren’t typically consuming their content visually. Instead, they’re putting in their earbuds and listening to a playlist, podcast, or radio show. As a result, the number of people worldwide who get their content through audio services, such as radios or streaming services, increases annually. 

    For that reason, you should always consider using audio ads to reach consumers. Continue reading for a crash course in audio advertising.

    Getting Started With Audio Ads

    What Is Audio Advertising?

    Audio ads can be included in any form of audio content. They help advertisers reach consumers who listen to the radio, stream music, or subscribe to podcasts. Because of the large number of consumers who subscribe to some form of audio content, it’s essential to know the specifics of how this form of advertising works and how it can benefit you.

    Radio Advertising

    Radio ads have always been a great way to reach customers. In fact, more than 80% of US adults still listen to the radio regularly. The broad reach of traditional radio is why many businesses still choose to use radio as an advertising medium.

    Digital Audio

    Digital audio advertisements are the ads you hear when you’re streaming music or listening to an online radio station. Approximately 40% of internet users subscribe to some form of streaming audio service, which makes digital audio advertising a fruitful option. 


    Podcasts are a subcategory of digital audio that makes up quite a large subset of advertising audiences. As of 2021, more than one-third of internet users regularly listened to podcasts. Moreover, they make up nearly 20% of digital audio ad spending due to their popularity.

    How Do Audio Ads Work? 

    Audio advertisements are placed within the radio or digital audio content in order to reach consumers. The ads can be placed before, during, or after a session or episode. Typical ad lengths are 15, 30, or 60 seconds long. 

    Some services allow listeners to skip past ads. For example, if you’re a paid Spotify subscriber and your podcast is interrupted by an ad, you can easily skip past it by fast-forwarding. However, listeners who don’t pay for a subscription or listen to traditional or online radio generally don’t have the option to skip ads. 

    What Are the Benefits of Audio Ads?

    Audio ads offer a number of benefits for companies in terms of cost, reach, and effectiveness.


    Audio ads aren’t costly to make, so they won’t take up a massive chunk of your advertising budget. They can also be created remotely, which means an ad with multiple people or voices doesn’t necessarily have to be recorded in one place.


    Globally, radio and podcasts are two of the most trusted mediums for advertising. More than 50% of Millennials, Gen Z, and Gen X consider digital and radio audio ads trustworthy. Boomers didn’t have quite the same faith in digital audio ads, but most consider traditional radio ads a valid source for product information. 

    Audience Reach

    Digital audio often reaches younger crowds more efficiently than older crowds. Focusing advertising on twenty and thirty-somethings is a great way to build brand interest and loyalty. Younger generations are also usually quicker to spread the word about a product or service online than older generations.


    The benefit of all digital and audio ads is that they can be targeted and scaled in a very granular fashion. For example, if you want to market a keto-friendly cereal, you could target your advertising to run during an exercise or dieting podcast. That means you can avoid wasting money on listeners who are unlikely to have an interest in your product.

    The number of people who get their content through audio services increases annually. Learn how marketers are utilizing audio ads.

    What are Google Audio Ads? 

    Google Audio Ads allow users to provide cross-platform advertisements that adjust to each consumer’s behavior. For example, if a user is listening to an audio streaming app while at work, Google can provide an audio-only ad. Or, if the user is actually interacting with the platform’s interface, Google can show the user a video ad instead. 

    In 2020, Google launched new features for its advertising service that help advertisers’ content become more profitable. These new features allow advertisers to reach their intended audiences, enable content creators to monetize their content, and give listeners a better experience.

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      What are YouTube Audio Ads? 

      YouTube is historically known as a streaming video platform. However, in 2020, YouTube launched an audio ad service as part of its goal of reaching audio listeners.

      YouTube’s audio ads are designed to deliver an ad in visual and audio format. So whether users watch or listen to content, they will all get the same message.

      What Should You Know Before Starting an Audio Campaign?

      When it comes to strategy, audio ads are very similar to other forms of digital advertising. With that in mind, there are some specific and very important things you should remember when designing and launching your campaigns.  

      Who Will Hear Your Ads?

      Different subgroups of the population have varied listening habits. For example, Boomers are less likely to listen to podcasts than younger generations. However, the median age for traditional radio listeners is 48, which means ads targeted toward older generations will likely be more effective on the radio than digitally. 

      Radio Is Declining, But Podcasts Are Up

      Although traditional radio still holds a large portion of the advertising market, its popularity is on the decline. Conversely, the podcast ad market is thriving. Since early 2020, podcasts have seen a 42% increase in global listening. 

      In 2021, advertisers spent $1.33 billion on podcast ads, which was an increase of almost $75 million from 2020. On the other hand, radio ad spending is expected to decrease and plateau in the upcoming years.

      Where Is Your Audience?

      There are several audio streaming platforms available for advertisers. Still, you’ll need to do solid market research regarding your targeted demographic to know where your audience is. Spotify, YouTube, Apple, Pandora, and Amazon are the most common platforms. 

      Spotify currently tops the list with nearly 45 million paid subscribers as of 2021. YouTube Premium has seen a dramatic spike since 2019 and is projected to rival Spotify and surpass Apple Music by 2025. Pandora has remained consistent in subscriber count but continues to have the lowest number of subscribers of the most popular platforms.

      Get Started With Audio Ads

      If you want to get started with audio ads, you should do a few things before settling on your advertising strategy. 

      Study the Market 

      Your market demographic is unique to your industry and business. What works for one organization may or may not work for yours. It’s essential to understand your intended audience’s needs and the niche you hope to fill, then base your audio ads on those things.

      Study Your Competition

      Performing a competitive analysis is a great way to figure out what type of ads might work best for you. A direct competitor’s ads and advertising strategy can provide a lot of insight into what works and what doesn’t when it comes to audio ads for your industry.

      Study the Platforms

      It’s essential to do detailed research to understand who uses which platforms, how often, and why. YouTube, Spotify, Amazon, and Apple all have various offerings, but the consumer base that frequents those platforms is not necessarily ubiquitous. 

      Once you’ve thoroughly researched the things that make audio ads successful, you’ll be ready to get started creating your first ad. Remember, finding the proper targeting method may take some trial and error. However, once you find the right approach for your organization, you’ll be able to reach a whole new swath of potential customers.

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