LONDON: Advertisers and agencies expect to invest more in digital audio in the next 12 months, according to new research, with 84% saying it will play a bigger role in their media plans in the future.

The Rise of the Digital Audio Advertiser, a study from DAX, the digital audio exchange created by Global, was based on surveys and interviews with 232 senior executives and manager-level and above executives at leading media agencies and brand owners.

Reasons given for increased investment included targeting capabilities (62%), the rise in streaming platforms (54%), voice activated devices (52%), and reach (50%).

As digital audio consumption increases, 77% of advertisers and agencies agreed that advertising in podcasts represents an untapped opportunity; two thirds of advertisers indicated they will advertise in podcasts this year.

Many are also looking at how they can exploit the growth in ownership of voice-activated devices: 79% of advertisers and agencies believe reaching audiences through voice-activated devices in the next 12 months is key; and 68% plan to create ads specifically for voice-activated devices in 2018.

The targeting capabilities offered by digital audio are a particular feature that is attracting both advertisers and agencies, with 81% seeing the channel offering new ways to target, especially through geo-targeting.

A similar proportion (78%) think the ability to use dynamic creative – changing pats of the message based on a listener’s location or other contextual data – makes digital audio an increasingly attractive advertising medium.

Speaking earlier this week at Advertising Week Europe, James Poulter, head of emerging platforms at Lego, argued that “by 2020 most major brands will need some kind of audio or voice strategy in place, mainly because it’s becoming the primary [online] access point for many people in the home around content overall”.

That means thinking about how they are heard since smart speakers are currently heard by multiple people simultaneously. “So is the ‘Lego voice’ that comes out the voice the kid wants to hear in the room? Is it the voice the parent wants to hear? Should it be male/female? How old should it be?”

And whether it’s smart speakers or podcasts, he added, advertisers will also have to think about how the brand presents itself.

“Developing a brand presence [in audio] is more than just picking a great voice and maybe a good jingle,” he said. “It’s about the structure of how you make these experiences so that they can be continually reminding you who that experience is coming from.”

Sourced from Global; additional content by WARC staff