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2020 Will Be a Banner Year For Audio

Audio Ready to Ring in the New Year

After a year of robust growth, audio is on track for an even better 2020. Over-the-air radio listening remains strong, while digital audio and podcasts are attracting new users and marketers. Overall, the audio listening pie is growing, and advertisers are investing in both local radio and digital options.

Radio reaches 92% of Americans, more than any other platform, according to Nielsen.  Americans 18+ spend nearly 12 hours per week listening to local radio. Among formats, news/talk was the most popular with Americans 6+ in 2019, followed by adult contemporary, country, pop CHR and classic hits, Nielsen reported. 

Streaming audio is quickly gaining its share of media time, with Americans 18+ listening for about 45 minutes per week. Younger adults are devoting even more time to digital audio, particularly on their smartphones. Digital audio offers radio listeners the ability to access live streams of their favorite stations and on-demand content on their own schedule and nearly any device, including smartphones and voice-activated speakers, which are expected to be top holiday gifts. 

At the same time, podcast listening is booming. In 2019, half of Americans over the age of 12 said they’ve listened to a podcast, while one-third have listened monthly and one-quarter were weekly consumers, according to Edison Research. In addition, 41% of monthly users say they are listening to more podcasts than a year ago, a strong indicator of podcasting’s rapid ascent

For advertisers, all of this translates to more opportunities than ever before to reach audio’s loyal, engaged  listeners. Local radio remains one of the strongest media channels for reach and frequency, while digital audio offers unique targeting capabilities. Podcasting is attractive because advertisers enjoy exclusivity and an attentive audience that opts into the content and is receptive to marketing. In fact, Edison reports that 54% of podcast consumers say that they are more likely to consider the brands they hear advertised on podcasts.

At Federated Media, our radio stations offer customized marketing opportunities across local radio, digital, mobile, and podcasting. Embracing audio on any -- or better yet all -- of these platforms can elevate your brand and set you up for success in 2020 and beyond.

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Written by Paul Altman