Affordable, personalized, and rapidly growing, audio marketing sounds like it belongs in a clunky old analog radio but digital innovation has upgraded audio’s marketing potential. 

Digital radio, downloadable podcasts, and social platforms like Clubhouse are opening doors to encourage listening, making this marketing channel worth incorporating into any marketing strategy.

Listeners Aren’t Abandoning Listening

According to Pew Research Center, an average of 90% of Americans ages 12+ listens to AM/FM radio weekly. 

While all in all, average listening of AM/FM has seen a slow decrease, down 9% from 2014 to 2020, total audio listening is up. Streaming Audio (+7%), Podcasts (+4%), and SiriusXM (+1) all have seen climbs for a combined 12% increase in time spent listening to audio sources. 

Why Audio Works for Consumers

Much evolved since its early analog radio days, audio is an incredibly effective way to resonate emotionally with audiences and leave a lasting impression, but that’s not all. 

Audio also offers:

  • Portable, listening on-the-go
  • Multitasking capabilities, i.e. active & passive listening.
  • Free learning and growth: Marginalized groups can easily access platforms and engage. 
  • Democratization of learning: 14.5 to 43.5 million children and adults have dyslexia.
  • Ability to integrate with new technology like smart speakers and voice search. 

Podcasts Paved the Way and Clubhouse Blasted Through

Podcasts took their time to find space as an audio medium. In the early days, podcasts were limited to online platforms and Apple technology. Now, you can easily download most podcasts using a variety of applications like Spotify, which is currently neck and neck with Apple Podcasts for the most listeners. 

Year by year the growth continues as podcasts creep upon every niche topic. From comedy to politics, two-hour episodes to two-minute clips, and a wide variety of styles for emissions, there seems to be no end to the growth in this medium.

In April 2020, Clubhouse stepped into the audio spotlight. 

Perhaps aided by the newfound time of users confined thanks to 2020 COVID restrictions OR maybe because people are sick of overproduced visual content, the attraction to this audio-based social media was instant.

It grew from a small village of 270 daily active users in May of 2020 to a small country of 10 million+ in February of 2021. 

That’s less than a year. 

Where podcasts have started to become very refined and produced, Clubhouse was raw and real. Users could roll out of bed and chime in with their voices to break into a deep discussion on AI technology. Clubhouse users include names like Oprah Winfrey and Elon Musk. 

Don’t worry, there is more than enough space for both platforms. If anything, what we’ve seen in the last year is how well audio works and how there is absolutely no slow down in the foreseeable future.

What Businesses Need to Know About Audio Marketing

Consumers of audio often self-report that they trust the ads on audio mediums more than other platforms. Whether it’s the intimacy of listening to a voice right in your ear or the hours spent consuming content that makes audiences trust the host they listen to, the loyalty is off the charts. 

Tapping into the audio medium is a great option for businesses. There are a wide variety of methods from hosting a room on Clubhouse and connect organically with others to paying for ads or sponsorships (for radio and Podcasts only). The cost is relatively low and you connect with dedicated and loyal audiences.

Now, it’s just up to you to determine which audio marketing option is the best fit for you.