Artwork for podcast Tripod: the audio advertising podcast
The growth of audio
Episode 25th June 2024 • Tripod: the audio advertising podcast • Trisonic
00:00:00 00:12:19

Shownotes

39.3 million people are listening to Commercial Radio every week. 12.4 million are listening to podcasts. So why is there an increasing appetite for audio? And can the growth of audio continue? Matt Rouse from Octave audio, Tom Balaam from Mindshare and Trisonic’s Howard Bareham share their thoughts with host Matt Hopper.

If you have any questions arising from this episode or you'd like to talk to us about audio advertising email ⁠info@trisonic.co.uk⁠ or visit our ⁠website⁠.

Transcripts

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Hello and welcome to season two of Tripod, the audio advertising podcast. In season one, we focussed in on the creative aspect of audio. Do have a listen when you have a moment. But in season two we're looking at the media perspective of audio. There's a lot of choices out there for reaching your customers using audio right now: radio, podcasts, digital audio.

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But which should you choose and why? And how do you use them to best effect? To help unpack that are three leading lights from the world of audio. Tom Balaam is Audio Lead at the agency Mindshare. Matt Rouse is Podcast Lead at Octave Audio. And last but not least, is the co-founder of Trisonic and its media director, my partner in crime, Howard Bareham.

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I'm your host, Matt Hopper. And we're going to start in this episode by looking at audio audiences. There's been a real increase in audio audiences over the last few years. There seems to be a real appetite for it. 39.3 million people are listening to commercial radio every week. 12.4 million are listening to podcasts. So why is there an increasing appetite for audio?

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and then in that period from:

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You saw EMAP Radio bought in:

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to date consolidation was in:

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So you've had these bigger groups that are being able to invest in new talent marketing and make the sound of stations and more stations available across different platforms. So it stems back from that period of consolidation. So it's down to the quality of the content, is it? Yeah, I sort of agree with Howard I think like obviously, you know, these groups have a space to put it back to the old days when you think about the BBC and how they used to cross-promote themselves from sort of like radio one on, prime time BBC one after EastEnders with, say, tune into the Chris Moyles breakfast show on Radio 1 tomorrow.

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I think the massive captive audience that you could kind of get then and that was something that I've seen local radio could never, ever do. Back in the day, you'd never hear a TV and don't see a TV advert for your, your, your local radio station, your local FM radio station. so I think like, you know, that's been a massive step change in the fact that you will now see adverts for Capital, Heart, Magic on primetime ITV, Saturday night viewing.

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We're going to come to podcasts in detail in another episode, Matt. But I mean podcast started just about ten, 20 years ago now. and it was a kitchen table industry when it started. And now the big media owners are in on it too. So they're recognising the opportunities there too. Absolutely. And I think, that follows on from a couple of themes that Tom and Howard have picked up on there in terms of technology and talent as well.

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You know, technology's come on so far since all of that consolidation. So ease of access to audio, it's become so much easier to tap into that for an audience. So whether that's through your smartphone or through a smart speaker at home, you know, people are, they've got so much more choice and so much more access to it.

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And then also the investment teams in terms of, the commercial radio groups that have come into this, the investment that they can put behind talent and technology and also podcasts kind of exploding in the last like five, 6 or 7 years. That talent needs an extra outlet in terms of what they can produce in the audio space.

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Can it continue to grow?

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there will always be a place for it. I think particularly in podcasts, and I don't want to step on like the wider audio themes here. But I think in podcasts, there are obviously huge names that participate in that space. You know, big, you know, the top of mind when everyone thinks of when you first think a podcast at the moment is someone like Joe Rogan, but you have other, larger podcasts, all fronted by big names.

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those ones in particular, I think are always going to demand a big audience just because of familiarity. But I think what podcasts also offer is that kind of niche environment for niche interests as well. So people find something that they're really interested in, really passionate about, and there's usually a podcast for that. So it's not necessarily about growing to the Nth degree.

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It's like finding the right content for you as a audience member, but also, you know, working out where you where you sit in a competitive space when you are launching a podcast in terms of whether you're a big time talent or what kind of content you're putting out there, whether it's niche or got a bigger audience.

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Tom mentioned about brands being associated or knowing what each of these station stands for, or, I mean, you have to appreciate these are massive stations that have huge weekly reach.

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The Heart brand or Heart network is reaching about 10 million adults a week. I mean, that is huge, but I think the benefit for advertisers is of all sizes, whatever your budget is, because you have large advertisers, national advertisers or international advertisers that can access that many an audience or through a campaign have access to that station and on its platforms.

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But then on the other side, with other advertisers that have, a lower budget to spend or limited funds

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there are lots of options to engage with those brands still. So whether that is through regional stations and we're going to talk about it, I guess shortly, is through other forms of reaching

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the radio audio listener for those that are listening, you know, via a connected device.

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So, computer or phone, which we sort of touched on slightly in terms of doing smaller, localised campaigns that allow, you know, all advertisers, whatever your size, to access this audio audience that has as, as you say, we've seen in the last, you know, number of years continues to grow, I think in terms of just growth, it's, you know, especially over the last five years or so, it's been like a combination of sort of technology and circumstance as well.

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You know, especially the sort of commercial radio face, I think, like latest stats where like 17% of all hours are on our smart speakers at home. So technology, you mentioned how it that's been massively you know, it's been great in terms of growing those audiences for commercial radio. You know, one of the key things you do is when you buy smart speakers, listen to your favourite radio station.

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So technology’s just brought easy access to radio brands. and you know, hopefully long may that continue.

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you know, and it doesn't get blocked by the likes of Google and things like that, which I know I've seen people that radiate into going from government to kind of topple that kind of thing from happening, which is really important.

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if that growth is going to continue. but also, you know, in terms of we had the Covid situation in lockdown as well, something where as an industry audio probably did you know relatively well in terms of audience out of that and its audiences sort of tune into, I think the podcast world. I think definitely that was a step change for them and people discovering podcasts and, you know, trying and basically sort of sitting at home and turning their radios on.

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And, you know, that mood states that we talk about and things of this, you know, finding audio that they want to listen to whilst there, even working from home or, you know, even slight changes in, you know, listening patterns and stuff like that. You know,

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we've found that mid-morning growth of a listener now is like huge. It's become sort of almost the Prime Daypart for listeners to kind of tune into audio or like listen to their favourite radio station.

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So that's been interesting as well. So yeah, I think all signs are growth can continue. But also, you know, I think we need to be wary of, especially for linear radio, how we're still going to get younger audiences to kind of tune in and not kind of go away to, you know, just the likes of Spotify and stuff like that where they see bigger, younger audiences.

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It's interesting. We talk about linear radio, digital audio, podcasts. They are three different things. But there's a move certainly by Radio player, for instance, in cars to make it a seamless process. So someone searches for content they don't really care where it comes from, do they? It's it's what they want to listen to, but they don't care whether it's linear, digital, podcasts.

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Again, it's it's that technology aspect bringing all of that together to make it that seamless experience, to know that, it's not just a case of just flipping on your, your FM radio at home anymore. It's about having a device at the facility to be able to present you with this content, whether it's live radio, whether it's a listen again, whether it's a podcast, and it's all down to whatever you're interested in and tailored for you.

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And I think there is kind of that fragmentation a little bit. but, you know, if a as long as an audience, being served content that they're interested in themselves, I think it's a really interesting space for audio to grow in the future. Definitely. But from an advertisers perspective, they have to know, guided by the likes of us, where to put their ads to reach the audience they need to reach.

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Absolutely. And, you know, for for us at Octave, we trade on the fact that we, have a whole host of third party data based on our audiences that listen and tune into our stations. because, you know, we're backed by Bauer News. they have a whole host of first party data based on people being logged in to not only their station apps, but also the magazine sites and the new sites that they have.

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So it's about applying that data to make sure that you're finding the correct audiences for advertisers. And I think this is a really interesting space for for advertisers. You know, I've worked in the commercial radio Environment Agency side for for a long time before I joined Octave, and I know that it was audio felt like it would trail a little bit behind what was going on in that data.

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led world, that digital advertising world. and what's been happening in the last few years in the audio space really gives audio a chance to compete with that and be able to apply those results and those numbers that clients are so familiar with already when advertising in other mediums, I think, is, you know, really brings audio to the table and helps them compete in that sense.

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Matt Rouse from Octave with Mindshare’s Tom Balaam and Trisonic’s Howard Bareham, and it sounds like audio is in a good place and set to grow further, but with so many media choices for advertisers, why should you choose audio? We'll be exploring that in our next episode, so make sure you don't miss it. Just follow or subscribe to the show.

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And for more details on all aspects of audio you can find us at trisonic.co.uk

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