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Digital Audio, By The Numbers – Digital Gabe
Digital Gabe
Cutting Edge Commentary On All Things Media

Digital Audio, By The Numbers

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No doubt about it, audio advertising is hot right now.  As brands grapple with maintaining their presence in the increasingly-screenless Age of Voice, more resources and ad budgets are matriculating to audio than ever before.  Even with that said, it’s sometimes hard to wrap your mind around digital audio’s impact as the growth driver of the sector.  That’s why eMarketer’s latest Digital Audio Advertising paper is so important right now.

eMarketer’s research breaks down the audio space in several ways.  For me the biggest takeaway is the prediction that 2020 will be the crossover year – meaning the year when Americans will consume more digital audio than terrestrial radio for the first time ever.  To be fair to radio broadcasters, the Digital Audio bars in the graph below also include streams from AM/FM radio stations, so they’re part of the digital explosion too.  Still it’s remarkable to think that audio streaming consumption will pass over-the-air radio within the next 12 months.

If you’re in the industry you’ll often hear Nielsen and the broadcasters tout their 92% reach as evidence of terrestrial radio’s health.  It’s an accurate stat – in the next chart you can see radio’s reach holding consistent at 91.5%, while digital audio continues to close in at 67%.  But that total reach is more of a show horse stat, because it doesn’t factor in time spent listening.  According to Edison’s Share of Ear research, broadcast radio’s TSL is down 19% over the last five years, which has set the table for the previously mentioned digital crossover to occur in 2020.

As you can probably tell I could go on and on about this report, but alas I have a day job to get back to.  So dig in for yourself and stay sharp on this latest audio research.


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