Marketing to 78 Percent of Aussie Consumers? It’s a Matter of Listening

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By Published On: September 12, 20220 Comments

Audio is the new black for marketing strategists, with more and more Australians to be found listening in to digital audio than ever before, creating uniquely attractive returns potentials for advertisers.

Recent findings from a survey conducted by The Infinite Dial Australia show that the number of Australians tuning into audio continues to trend upward in a key development for future marketing strategies, with Australia now even supplanting the US as the number-one podcast listening nation in the world.

The survey, commissioned by sponsors Commercial Radio Australia (CRA), LiSTNR and Triton Digital, had respondents address their listening habits in a study designed to allow for direct comparisons between the Australian and US markets. The results from the survey, conducted in early 2022, show that Australians are increasingly embracing audio media – leaving valuable lessons to be learned for marketing and digital advertising strategists.

78 percent of Australians above the age of 12 listen to online audio on a monthly basis, with that number only decreasing to 71 percent of Australians for weekly basis listening of online audio, according to The Infinite Dial’s findings. In both cases, the results for 2022 continue upward year-on-year trends, with monthly numbers up four percent and weekly numbers up five percent from 2021 – weekly listening numbers, particularly, boasting a dramatic 25 percent increase from the numbers of five years ago.

Average times spent listening for weekly listeners of online audio have also increased, the findings suggest, with these Australians now spending an average of over 13 minutes listening to online audio on a weekly basis versus just over 12 minutes according to last year’s survey. 

But while these numbers in isolation are enlightening, the questions of what listeners are increasingly listening to is even more so. Year-on-year, the numbers of Australians listening to live or on-demand radio have remained stagnant though not insignificant, with 80 percent of Australians reporting listening to radio for at least 15 minutes on a weekly basis for two consecutive years.

Podcasts, meanwhile, appear as the key driver of the upward trend of Australians engaging with audio. 26 percent of Australians have reported listening to at least one podcast on a weekly basis two years in a row and while these numbers might not appear especially impressive on their own, it is a significant increase from only 10 percent of Australians five years ago. 

When widening the lens to view the listener numbers on a monthly basis, the amount of Australians listening to podcasts has increased to 40 percent, officially surpassing the US where those numbers are 38 percent.

Other numbers elsewhere help to paint the picture of potentials for marketing through audio.

A 2021 study conducted by information services and technology company Neustar, and commissioned by audio platform Audacy, analysed the marketing performance results of over 40 advertisers in the United States in order to determine the average results of audio marketing strategies. In assessing this data, Neustar determined that as little as a 1.2 percent shift of marketing investment to audio resulted in as much as a 23 percent return on ad spend (ROAS). 

For retail, specifically, a mere 1.1 percent increase in audio spend saw on average a 16 percent ROAS.

While overall ad spend in Australia has already soared to record levels emerging from the pandemic, reaching a record level of $775 million in June, increases in ad spend for audio mediums specifically have only grown modestly when viewed in the context of the dramatic growths of Australian audiences engaging with audio in the last five years.

In the last financial year, as an example, audio ad spend grew by only 11.2 percent, a number only five and a half percent higher than the increase in ad spend for magazines over the same period. While the number of Australians reading print magazines has grown to 51.5 percent, according to Roy Morgan’s Australian Readership report, this number sits clearly below that of the percentage of Australians tuning in to audio media.

Even from a cost perspective, the difference between advertising in print and for audio is considerable. In podcasts, for example, the most common form of advertising is that where advertisers will purchase a ‘pre-roll ad’ with set values per thousands of downloads – called a ‘cost per mile’ (CPM) model. Rates for such a strategy can begin from as little as $15-25 for a 15 second advertisement to just over $100 for a 30 second advertisement on a ‘premium’ podcast. Compare this to the thousands it can cost to snag page space in print and the appeal of audio is again obvious. 

Altogether, the picture painted of the potential of audio advertising for retailers of all descriptions is a no-brainer, with the key to many Aussies’ wallets increasingly becoming their ears. 

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