2024 is shaping up to be the year of adjusting to the world without cookies, but filled with FDBR, INCDPA, and other puzzling abbreviations of new privacy laws, spiced up by other traps that make reaching the right customers challenging. But among the many barriers, there are a few silver linings for discovering untapped audiences and driving sales.

One of the most promising ways to do this, besides tapping into the AdTech trends we’ve already talked about, is by inserting ads into digital audio content, which has seen a remarkable growth in audience size, ad inventory, and content variety in recent years.

And these are evidence-based facts:

Audio Advertising Trends to Expect in 2024In 2022, 222.7 million people in the US listened to digital audio every month.
Audio Advertising Trends to Expect in 2024About 66% of the US population aged 12+ listen to digital audio at least once a week.
Audio Advertising Trends to Expect in 2024In 2022, US adults spent more time each day listening to digital audio than they did watching subscription video services or using social networks.
Audio Advertising Trends to Expect in 2024An estimated 79% of Gen Z and 80% of millennials say they listen to a podcast at least once a week.
Audio Advertising Trends to Expect in 2024More than 62% of digital audio listeners subscribe to streaming platforms, and 61% of those listeners don’t skip ads.

Sources: Insider Intelligence; Basis; Spotify; Advertising Week

If these statistics pique your interest in tapping into a vast audience with diverse preferences across streaming music, digital radio, diverse podcasts, and live sports broadcasts, this brief overview of trends will show you how to do it in the most effective way in 2024.

Top trends in audio advertising hitting the charts

While many brands today are still integrating audio advertising gradually as a side dish into their campaigns, for many, it has already become the main course that brings significant benefits due to its ability to deliver persuasive product information and leave an indelible mark on consumer choices.

Making audio ads bring full-funnel value

Making audio ads bring a full-funnel value

Today, many businesses are trimming advertising budgets, sacrificing awareness-building campaigns for performance-focused efforts that directly boost sales. However, there’s a growing realization that this approach may not be essential when it comes to the audio medium.

Listeners easily integrate audio into various aspects of their lives, from exercising and household chores to walking their dogs. Consequently, digital audio reaches audiences across diverse environments and mindsets, touching every phase of their purchasing decision process. Notably, Spotify research revealed that this engagement goes beyond passive listening, with more than 50% of smart speaker owners showing a likelihood to respond to promotional messages heard on their devices.

All this allows for the effortless integration of new brand information with the help of audio ads into consumers’ subconscious, leaving a lasting imprint on their awareness. Simultaneously, advertisers are now incorporating proactive encouragements for listeners to take immediate action, often through specific calls-to-action such as using a promotional code for a discount at checkout. This approach enables brands to gauge the effectiveness of their podcast advertising by accurately tracking and evaluating leads or responses directly generated from their ads.

So, in essence, audio advertising frees itself from being confined to focusing solely on isolated stages of the sales funnel. Instead, advertisers can harness the power of audio channels to concurrently address multiple aspects: cultivating awareness while also prompting immediate customer action or response.

Audio Advertising Trends to Expect in 2024

Good audio ad strategy doesn’t happen by accident

Exploring the smart ways to integrate audio ads into your overall advertising efforts? Feel free to reach out — we’re here to offer expert guidance and assistance.

Leveraging a programmatic approach and dynamic creative optimization

Programmatic has been on the rise in recent years across all advertising formats, and digital audio advertising is no exception. Insider Intelligence reports that in 2022, approximately 21.3% of audio ads were transacted programmatically. This figure is anticipated to rise to nearly one-fourth of all digital audio ads by the end of 2024.

And what holds significant appeal to this method of advertising now, besides the overall convenience of process automation, is the ability of programmatic audio advertising to satisfy consumers’ need for personalized ads. It enables advertisers to target their audio ads based on various factors, including a user’s geolocation, the content they are consuming, and the device they are using for listening.

And, most importantly, programmatic advertising introduces opportunities for audio advertisers to utilize technologies like dynamic creative optimization (DCO), which leverages users’ data, Generative AI and ML to automatically generate personalized variations of ad creatives in real-time to test them for effectiveness and, if necessary, automatically optimize them. And it goes from changing generic promotional codes with customized ones for each specific podcast, to producing the variations of ads with different female voices and accents to test which one resonates more with a specific demographic in a particular region.

Enhancing appeal with voice-activated ads

Enhancing appeal with voice-activated ads

Interactive audio ads are reshaping audience engagement, offering a futuristic experience through smart speakers, mobile streaming services, and in-vehicle infotainment (IVI) systems using Natural Language Processing (NLP). These ads are not merely heard, but can be directly interacted with. They prompt responses from listeners with enticing offers like helpful information or promo codes, providing users the choice to accept or decline.

For example, Estée Lauder got creative with audio ads to promote their product this way: Spotify delivered the ads, voiced by expert actors, to the brand’s audience, tailored to their distinct listening preferences. And the twist unfolded as Google Home encouraged listeners to say the phrase “Send me a sample” at the ad’s conclusion. And as a result, consumers who participated received a complimentary product delivered to their doorstep within a few days.

As the trend toward voice-enabled web pages continues to grow, B2B marketers are starting to adapt as well, transforming their on-page ads and CTAs into an audio format. For instance, when listening to a blog on a company website, a voice-activated ad at the end can effectively replace a high-value link or contact form.

Merging audio and gaming

The forecast by App Annie, indicating that 3.32 billion people will participate in global gaming in 2024, clearly justifies another of the audio advertising trends — the brands leveraging games to engage with new audiences.

While traditional in-game advertisements such as video and image ads are perceived as disruptive to gamers who prioritize a smooth gaming experience, in-game audio ads provide a subtler means for brands to establish connections. This method enables gamers to play and listen concurrently, fostering a seamless experience. Additionally, these audio ads can be seamlessly incorporated into reward systems, allowing players to earn in-game currency or other perks by opting to listen to the ads.

Have we covered all the latest audio advertising trends?

With the audio audience growing rapidly, advertisers are stepping up their game, using different audio tricks, like boosting effectiveness with display companion ads and more. In this overview, we’ve focused on the standout trends, but there are still many more possibilities to explore in podcasting and streaming advertising. So if you are looking for deeper insight into audio advertising options or wondering how they could benefit your business — our experts are right here to offer plenty of info that will work in a particular case, be it limited budgets, lack of understanding of technicalities in applying certain advertising methods, distrust of their profitability, or pressure to get sales fast.