Digital audio continues to grow: from its music streaming origins, radio streaming is increasingly common, podcasts are everywhere and smart speakers have thrown a new factor into the mix.

“This is actually the first year ever that digital audio now reaches more than 50% of the [UK] adult (15-plus) population every single week,” Tom Streetley, Global digital media manager, told the IAB Sound Investment event (London, May 2019). “That’s up 14% up year on year, and now it’s 28.3 million people. So not only is it big, it’s still growing very quickly.”

That growth has been accompanied by a shift in how people are consuming digital audio, he added. The PC (25% of digital audio listening) is no longer so important as the smartphone which now dominates usage (50%); and, of course, there has been the remarkable advance of smart speakers (17%) which, from a standing start, have overtaken tablets (8%) in just a couple of years.

A major benefit of digital audio is the amount and variety of content available to listeners from a wide range of producers, from radio stations to podcast creators to music streaming sites. And with many of these now on DAX – the Global-owned ad platform serves 180 digital audio publishers – it’s become a simple process for advertisers to reach 24 million monthly listeners using a data-targeted programmatic approach that can be quantified and measured.