Adobe Partners with Pandora, Releases Survey Results Highlighting Digital Audio’s “Tipping Point”

Adobe Partners with Pandora, Releases Survey Results Highlighting Digital Audio’s “Tipping Point”
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When I think back to the moments that really matter in life, they always have a soundtrack; A song, tune or jingle that immediately reminds me of where I was and how I was feeling. Music moves us. And, as consumers, it has the ability to reach us at times and in locations when other platforms can’t. At the gym. On the road. Or simply when we want to relive those wonderful memories I mentioned previously.

But, audio isn’t just music – it’s podcasts, news and more. And it’s growing in listenership each and every day.

Brands and agencies around the world are realizing the true significance and return-on-investment they receive by including a digital audio strategy within digital advertising. Consumer adoption of digital audio content continues to increase rapidly, with many now prioritizing digital audio platforms as their first source for music, news and other content. In fact, according to The 2018 Infinite Dial Study by Edison Research and Triton Digital, digital audio reaches 180 million US consumers each month, or 64% of all Americans (that’s a +43% over the past five years).

With the massive shift to digital audio, it is no surprise that advertising budgets are shifting accordingly. In fact, 2019 might be the tipping point for digital audio, with the arrival of millions more dollars in ad spend and new innovations to programmatic buying tools.

Brands have a tremendous opportunity to connect with consumers in a more contextually relevant way through digital audio content. To help advertisers provide a more seamless experience, Adobe is integrating with Pandora to expand Adobe Advertising Cloud’s programmatic audio offering, which will increase reach and scale options to Pandora’s 120 million active listeners. Advertisers now have the ability to access Pandora’s audio, video and display inventory.

Supporting the need to plan ahead, shift strategy and determine where to spend advertising budgets, Adobe commissioned a survey, “Perspectives on Digital Advertising,” to outline the current trends, usage and design in regard to digital audio. After surveying 1,000 adult consumers in the United States and 500 marketing and advertising business decision makers in February 2019, it is clear digital audio is increasingly more significant from both perspectives. (CMO.com is owned by Adobe.)

According to the survey, nearly half of all brands plan to increase their investment in digital audio advertising and podcasts by an average of​ 35 percent, compared to one year ago. To ensure their investments are effective, advertisers recognize that personal data needs to be leveraged to deliver a better experience, with more than 40 percent of consumers echoing that personalized content can boost trust with regularly used brands.

Consumers are also taking action.  About one quarter have ‘sometimes’ made a purchase after hearing an ad on a streaming music app/website and about one-third have searched for more product details after hearing an audio ad. Consumers also told us that they regularly consume digital audio while doing other activities, such as cooking and cleaning, with nearly half doing so over 25 percent of the time. This supports the notion that digital audio is a multitasking environment, therefore proper targeting is crucial to capturing their attention, increasing engagement, and ultimately driving ROI.

“As people begin to get more comfortable with consuming audio content, most leading brands are following suit,” said Keith Eadie, VP, Adobe Advertising Cloud. “We see an opportunity emerging to deliver context-aware, targeted audio ads that can have greater standout, higher recall and better engagement than more traditional methods of advertising. Right now is a great time to experiment with audio ads, since the space isn’t yet cluttered.”

But who exactly is spending more time listening to digital content? Unsurprisingly, younger generations, specifically Millennial and Generation Z consumers. More than half of these younger generations are likely to increase the time they spend listening to podcasts and time spent using voice activated speakers within the next year.

CORT Furniture, a leading, nationwide furniture rental retailer with over 100 showrooms nationwide recently embarked on a successful digital audio strategy to target their core student market.  “We were looking to engage with a specific audience – college students – and recognized that digital audio is a great method to deliver more relevant, personalized ads to the channel college students use most,” said Mindy Oliver, Director of Online Business, Media, and Analytics at CORT. “Updating our advertising strategy and using data analytics allowed us to effectively impact and target this audience, raising brand awareness.”

“Data-driven audio advertising has already delivered substantial impact for some brands,” Adobe’s Eadie told CMO.com. “Audio allows brands to hyper-personalize messaging and target key listening segments in new and exciting ways.”

Additional survey findings included industry attitudes around digital audio and how consumers discover new music and podcasts:

  • About half of advertising and marketing professionals think it is important or very important to have digital audio as part of their cross-channel strategy. More than two-thirds agree digital audio is a strong conversion medium.
  • Forty-four percent of consumers find new music and/or podcasts via recommendations from friends/family, closely followed by browsing online and social media.

The “Perspectives on Digital Advertising” survey demonstrates that brands need an updated strategy as consumers’ consumption of digital audio content is expected to increase.

“Pandora is thrilled to expand our partnership with Adobe Ad Cloud and enable our advertisers to leverage the power of sound to connect with our audience of 120M monthly consumers across Pandora & SoundCloud,” said Brian Gilbert, Sr. Director, Programmatic Operations at Pandora.

“Companies looking to create a holistic cross-channel advertising strategy would truly miss out if they do not incorporate digital audio ads into the mix,” added Eadie.

Click here to learn more about Adobe’s partnership with Pandora and the current trends in usage, design and the impact of advertising.

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