Audio advertising in the modern age: 3 reasons it works

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Audio advertising in the modern age: 3 reasons it works

Audio is everywhere. Podcasts, music, and audiobooks remain some of the most consumed forms of media in the world and they’re unlikely to slow down anytime soon. Spotify attracts close to 400 million users annually while Apple Music has over 80 million and Pandora has 55 million. The number of people on these music streaming platforms is growing every year and the types of media offered is steadily increasing as well. As of 2018, more than 80% of audio listening took place on mobile devices. The rest occured on devices like CTV (Connected TV) and Sonos speakers. Podcasts and audiobooks are exploding in popularity and the opportunities for audio advertising have never been greater.

There are many things to consider when choosing to advertise through audio format. Here are 3 reasons it’s worked so far:


  1. Careful integration can expose users to content that they find interesting and relevant. Consumers have complete autonomy in what they choose to listen to online. The content people consume on platforms like Spotify and Apple Music are deliberate choices. Therefore, hearing relevant ads can be beneficial to a user’s interests. By understanding these trends, companies seeking to promote themselves deliberately through audio ads can expect a receptive audience.
  2. There is investment in the content. People are paying attention! Often, audio advertisements occur through media that people have a strong interest in. In particular, podcasts have a growing reach and are significant platforms for companies to use for exposure. For example, if a favorite podcast is able to weave a product promotion skillfully into a new story, there is a much stronger impact than if the ad were to appear while the consumer was casually browsing the web. Rather, people are carefully paying attention to what they are hearing and are more likely to respect the advertisement if it’s done thoughtfully.
  3. Audio ads are not limited situationally. Audio ads can reach a customer at multiple points throughout the day. It could be on the subway to work or while listening to a podcast on a walk. It could even be while they’re cooking dinner and listening to their favorite playlist. Audio advertisements are flexible which creates a greater variety of opportunities for careful ad placement.


While there is great potential in audio advertising, it’s important to recognize that the overuse of audio ads can lead to frustration for the consumer. In many cases, people might purchase premium subscriptions of a service to avoid the advertisements. This was found to be the case in a study done with Pandora listeners in 2018. As the frequency of ads per hour increased, so did the likelihood that consumers would purchase Pandora One for $4.99 a month.

However, through the right methods, audio advertising can work very well in the modern age of technology. By striking the right balance between targeting and thoughtfullness, they can be an incredibly effective and easy to integrate.