LONDON: As voice-activated devices, podcasts and overall digital audio consumption grow in popularity in the UK, a new survey has confirmed that advertisers and agencies plan to invest more in these channels.

Research firm mtm polled 232 senior and mid-level executives at leading brands and media agencies on behalf of DAX, a digital audio exchange created by Global, the media and entertainment group.

The research, which DAX entitled The Rise of the Digital Audio Advertiser, found that 79% of advertisers and agencies believe reaching audiences through voice-activated devices in the next 12 months is key.

In addition, 68% of UK advertisers and agencies plan to create ads specifically for voice-activated devices this year, while a similar proportion (66%) of advertisers say they will advertise in podcasts.

Around three-quarters (77%) of both advertisers and agencies agree that advertising in podcasts represents an untapped opportunity, the survey also revealed.

“From the explosion of new technologies, such as voice-activated devices, to advanced targeting and immersive experiences, our findings show that digital audio is driving real change in the way advertising is planned, created and bought,” said Mike Gordon, Global’s chief commercial officer.

According to DAX, advertisers and agencies believe digital audio “fits easily” into people’s lives and complements other activities more than any other media.

The immersive quality of digital audio is said to be gaining popularity with advertisers, 86% of whom agree the medium is a “great way” to reach audiences in a one-to-one context.

Consequently, they are expected to increase their budgets in 2018, with 84% of respondents saying digital audio will play a bigger role in their media plans in the future.

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

Sourced from DAX; additional reporting by WARC staff