Advertiser confidence in digital audio is growing, according to new research, with 86% of agencies and 66% of brands in the UK viewing the channel as an important part of their media strategies.

The second annual Rise of Digital Audio Advertising report, commissioned by DAX, the Global-owned digital audio ad platform, found advertisers to be increasingly aware of the contextual strengths of the medium.

Of the 215 brand and media agency respondents surveyed by MTM, 85% considered digital audio to be effective at reaching consumers “on the go”, while 81% agreed the channel enables advertisers to be “contextually relevant” with brand communications.

Over 40% of participants stated that digital audio had formed a part of their campaigns in past 12 months, up from 33% in 2018. This has been driven in part by perceived opportunities to reinvent audio advertising: 56% cited the “innovative potential” of digital audio as a positive factor.

Ollie Deane, Global’s Director of Commercial Digital, told WARC that “clear roles” are emerging for how brands can use digital audio to deliver marketing outcomes, from boosting brand preference scores to using the media owner’s Listener Insight ID tool to optimise performance campaigns.

“The proposition [of digital audio] is becoming clearer. The industry seems to be landing on this idea of reaching people on-the-go, on their commute or when out and about in daily life,” added Deane, who contributed to the June edition of Admap (For more, read: Programmatic audio: Past, present and future).

He admitted, however, that an “education job” must be carried out by media owners to ensure advertisers understand the tools available to measure digital audio campaigns, and the ROI against desired outcomes.

The report predicts several factors will sustain the growth of digital audio in the coming years, including the surge in popularity in podcasts, growing adoption of smart speaker devices, and the potential for 5G to transform in-car connectivity.

Some 84% of respondents claimed that digital audio “provides new ways of reaching people”, while 82% agreed the medium offers a vital route to connect with audiences using screenless devices, such as Amazon Alexa, Google Home and Apple HomePod.

Sourced from DAX; additional content by WARC staff