News & Insights

How to measure digital audio ads

As digital audio streaming continues to boom, audio ad campaigns offer the access, flexibility, and precision brands need.

In the golden age of radio, advertisers relied on catchy jingles to make sure their messages about used cars and frozen pizza snuck into listeners’ brains and stayed there. While a sticky melody can still be invaluable, pretty much everything else has changed when it comes to audio ads and ensuring they’re effective.

The last decade has seen an explosion of digital audio entertainment, a category that includes music services, internet radio, and podcasts. Streaming grew from 7% of the U.S. music market in 2010 to an incredible 80% at the end of the decade.1 That enormous growth has led to massive opportunities for advertisers. With more and more audiences tuning in, digital audio ad campaigns offer the access, flexibility, and precision advertisers need.

The benefits of audio advertising

Digital audio ads go where video can’t, accompanying the listener throughout their day across a range of screenless moments like cooking, driving, and chilling. They're also less expensive than video ads while still proving to be deeply impactful — a fact those jingle writers knew well. The strategic use of elements like music, sound design, and the right celebrity or influencer can amplify their impact, too.

Plus, it’s easier than ever to ensure that digital audio ads are doing their job thanks to today’s bounty of measurement solutions. In the broadcast era, advertisers struggled to demonstrate the relationship between campaigns and consumer behavior, relying on data from small sample sizes of demographics — often after a campaign was done. In the digital era, advertisers can measure the impact of their campaign with unprecedented speed and accuracy. Whereas measuring radio listenership comes down to guesstimates, digital streaming services can truly understand who’s listening.

How audio ad measurement works

Digital audio allows advertisers to better know who they’re speaking to. Audience understanding — based on demographics, location, device usage, and listening habits — has never been so robust. And since that audience may be spread across a wide array of podcast categories, playlists, and other interest groupings, advertisers now have the means to reach consumers where they are, with the messaging and branding that makes for the best fit.

What are the basic digital audio ad metrics?

Today’s advertisers can respond and modify their approach for their target audiences as they strive for the optimal combination of four crucial delivery factors:

These measurement metrics give advertisers a balance of big-picture assessments and real-time reporting with granular, impression-level data. Armed with that info, not only can advertisers capture the attention of their target audiences, they also can engage and develop new ones. Those old-school radio jingles probably could've used this new-school data.

How Spotify makes the difference

When it comes to maximizing the impact of audio ads, Spotify has the tools advertisers need. Of course, the basics are covered with reporting that includes impressions, unique reach, and average frequency — along with invaluable data on ad clicks. But our measurement suite offers many different methodologies and solutions. When determining an approach, brands and advertisers should keep in mind The Three Rs:

  • Reach is all about discovering whether your intended audience is hearing your ad. Spotify makes that happen with verification tools that let advertisers see key demographic information.
  • Resonance is what people think and feel after they hear your ad. To help determine that, we look to brand lift studies that may include upper-funnel metrics like awareness, favorability, intent, and more.
  • Reaction refers to the actions people take after hearing ads, from researching products to store visits and purchases. Spotify partners with third-party measurement providers to measure offline sales, incremental sales impacts, and in-store visitations. (For music promotion, we also provide streaming conversion results showing metrics like new listeners, average streams per listener, and more.)

Plus, Spotify’s logged-in audience enables brands to connect with users across their devices — mobile, desktop, connected car, smart home, and beyond. Ultimately, that means your message can reach your audience contextually, within different moments and contexts throughout their day, to tell an effective story that will resonate.

How to drive the highest impact

While every campaign is different based on your intended audience and message, research shows that leading with audio can maximize business outcomes.

  • Brand lift: Campaigns with the strongest brand lift skew heavily towards audio. The top 10% of brand lift campaigns tend to have nearly three-quarters of their impressions tied to audio.2
  • In-store visits: Audio drives consumers down the path to conversion. Audio-only campaigns drive a 10.1% lift for in-store visits, compared to 5.3% for multi-format campaigns.3
  • CPG sales: Audio enables more offline CPG sales through effective and efficient media. Campaigns with a majority of audio impressions tend to outperform the rest, driving higher sales lift, ROAS, and greater reach and frequency.4

To put it plainly, Spotify’s platform can help get your message heard. Create your digital audio campaign and make an impact today.

  1. Recording Industry Association of America, Year End 2019 Revenues Report
    1. Nielsen Brand Effect & Kantar Brand Lift Insights, 1/1/2018-6/30/2020 - 2020 Edition, US Version
    2. Placed Powered by Foursquare, 1/1/2018-6/30/2020 - 2020 Edition, US Version
    3. NC Solutions & Oracle CPG Offline Sales Lift, 1/1/2018-6/30/2020 - 2020 Edition, US Version

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