4 Audio Advertising Trends You Can't Ignore in 2021

6 min read

2020 was certainly a year of challenges, but in the world of audio advertising, it was a year filled with opportunity. From contractors to colleges, to hospitals and recruiters, we've seen all sorts of small businesses and organizations adapt - and even thrive - to the changing times with AudioGO.

So as you start to look ahead and plan for 2021: we wanted to take this moment to look back at 4 key trends that helped drive Digital Audio's double-digit growth this past year, and show you how AudioGO can help with your marketing resolutions this new year as well.

Trend #1: Everyone is listening

In fact, 74% of adults ages 25 to 54 are regularly streaming music, news, and podcasts each month.And of the 3 apps that saw the most gains in listenership during this pandemic, the top two just so happened to be our publisher partners:2

  1. Pandora, +42%
  2. iHeartRadio, +11%
  3. Spotify, +1%

Pandora and iHeartRadio also topped another recent survey of the most recognizable audio brands in the US.Which really shouldn't come as any surprise, seeing how Pandora is still the country's most popular music streaming app and iHeartRadio's reach extends to 9 in every 10 Americans.

Trend #2: Podcasts are booming

This podcast trend is actually becoming more of a movement in the greater entertainment industry. Here are some of the latest figures to back it up:

  • 55% of Americans have listened to a podcast, and over 1 in 3 (37%) US adults now listen to podcasts on a monthly basis.4
  • 6 hours and 39 minutes, that's how much time the average listener is streaming podcasts every week now. 100 more minutes than pre-pandemic levels.6
  • 850,000, is the number of active shows that make up the podcast universe. In 2018, that count was less than 500,000.7

And with the addition of Stitcher to the AudioGO platform, we're now giving our advertisers access to buying ads on some of most popular (and premium) podcast programming around.

Trend #3: Smart Speakers are surging as home listening soars

Smart Speakers are emerging as common appliances in the American home, now that over a quarter (27%) of all households own one.8  With sales expecting to grow 21% this year alone, this explosion in Smart Speakers is almost symbolic of everything else that's happening to streaming habits inside the home these days:

  • 44%, is how much home listening has risen during the pandemic.10
  • Nielsen reports 75% of folks working from home are streaming music every week; 40% reported tuning in every day, the highest share percentage of media-related activity of any media outlet.11
  • 90% of all podcasts are currently enjoyed at home.12

Traditionally a mobile medium, this pandemic is shifting America's increasing appetite for music, news, and podcasts away from cars, offices, and gyms and into kitchens, living rooms, and bedrooms instead.

Smart Speaker adoption is a symptom of this home listening trend. Which, judging by its direction, isn't going anywhere anytime soon; even after this pandemic passes. Creating new markets for audio advertisers to pursue well into the future.

Trend #4: Audio AdTech is maturing

Working behind the scenes of every app is a machine that's learning more and more about their users' behavior. And in between all of last year's extraordinary developments in content, hardware, and listening trends - it's this data, and the features we've built on top of it, that's also supporting the success of our audio advertisers.

This isn't your grandmother’s radio. Today's adtech is rapidly advancing, giving us better data on your customers (and potential customers) with each passing day. And with the introduction of AudioGO’s own behavioral marketing feature, we're now able to leverage this data to reach target audiences by their hobbies, interests, and user profiles - making it possible for brands and businesses to truly personalize their marketing by ensuring their messages reach the people who need to hear it most.

But don't take our word for it. Get started with AudioGO today, and see what all the buzz is about yourself.

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1. Edison Research, The Infinite Dial 2020
2. CNN, Comscore Research Finds Increased Audio Streaming During Coronavirus Pandemic, July 2020
3. Edison Research, The Infinite Dial 2020
4. Edison Research, The Infinite Dial 2020
5. Edison Research, The Infinite Dial 2020
6. Small Biz Genius, 40 Powerful Podcast Statistics to Tune Into, January 2021
7. Oberlo, 10 Powerful Podcast Statistics you need to know in 2021, January 2021
8. Edison Research, The Infinite Dial 2020
9. TechCrunch, The Smart Speaker Market is Expected to Grow 21% Next Year, October 2020
10. Edison Research, Share of Time Spent Listening to Audio at Home in the US..., June 2020
11. Nielsen, More than Dialed In: Audio is a Co-worker Remote Employees Can Rely On, August 2020
12. Edison Research, The Infinite Dial 2020