The State of Australia’s Growing Digital Audio & Podcast Advertising Industry

Posted by Richard Palmer On March 15, 2019

On Monday, March 4th, representatives from across the digital audio industry converged on PwC as IAB Australia revealed the Audio Advertising: State of the Nation report. The comprehensive report provides an overview of the digital audio industry in Australia including broadcast radio, streaming digital audio, and digital audio broadcast (DAB+) and podcasting, with participation from 13 media and technology companies including Commercial Radio Australia (CRA).

Key takeaways from the report revealed that the digital audio industry is on the rise, with a reported 87% of agencies using streaming audio advertising in 2018, and that brand advertisers continue to embrace podcast advertising, with Podcast and DAB+ having the greatest traction in 2018. With agencies increasing their digital audio advertising budgets, it was no surprise to learn that their research showed 20% of media buyers regularly bought podcast advertising in 2018 (up from 14% in 2017), 4 in 10 buyers experimented with podcast ads in 2018, and an additional 28% are looking to try for the first time this year.

The introduction of new ad placements and creative formats have continued to gain traction with media buyers. Dynamic audio creative is of particular in interest: Nearly a quarter of buyers have used it thus far, but an additional 57% are planning to recommend dynamic audio creative development for clients in 2019.

Matt Bryant from Spotify took the stage and ran us through an excellent presentation around the types of dynamic creative presently being used in digital audio and how it works. An audio creative platform starts with a script with myriad variants based around user and data point variants relevant to the service or product. That is then processed in that company’s dynamic creative studio which connects with major demand side platforms and streaming services (think iHeart Radio, Spotify and Pandora for example), feeding the user an ad targeted to the individual through programmatic advertising based on the relevant combination of factors such as the time of day, day of the week, weather, location, age, gender and so on. The variants of the script are seamlessly stitched together to create the new experience. In one example presented, the various dynamic creative would come together to serve up to 48,000 possible variants of the message.

Other findings from the study include:

  • The number of agencies using programmatic buying for audio has increased slightly in the last 12 months, however major growth is expected for programmatic guaranteed arrangements with expectations that this will grow from 37% to 46% in 2019.
  • Voice marketing hit the radar for the first time in 2018 with 9% of buyers already active in this space, and it is emerging as a strategy for consideration throughout 2019
  • 70% of media buyers intend to invest in cross-platform (broadcast and digital) opportunities from radio networks.

Based on these findings, we recommend the industry remain focused on cross-platform and cross-media measurement, demonstrating effectiveness, education on programmatic audio, and showcasing creativity in 2019.

Click here to download your copy of the Audio Advertising: State of the Nation report and watch the highlights video of the report presentation.

Richard Palmer