Adtech Execs: Growth Coming For Ad-Supported Audio, AM/FM


As 2023 draws to a close, leaders from adtech agency A Million Ads, or AMA, are sharing what they’ve observed in the audio space for the past year and the trends they expect both traditional and digital audio to take into 2024, including key growth drivers.

AMA CEO and Founder Steve Dunlop and CRO Paul Kelly both predict a shift towards more dynamic and personalized creative content in advertising. Dunlop said, “The advertising marketplace has changed forever, requiring advertisers to build a new respect-based relationship with consumers. Bludgeoning your audience with repetitive messaging is a tactic that should be consigned to the past. Instead, brands should leverage the power of personalization through dynamic creative that adapts to the real-time context of their target audience to boost relevance, engagement, and results.”

Another trend Dunlop points out is the growing willingness of consumers to exchange personal data for value. With advancements in technology, personalization at scale is becoming increasingly accessible and affordable, allowing brands to tailor their advertising more effectively. This is especially valuable, given the move away from cookies and third-party data.

Kelly expects audio demand to surge, as audio continues to be one of the most trusted mediums because of the one-on-one connection between talent and listener. “Audio offers intimacy and memorability that you don’t get through other mediums. Suppose you hear an ad read by your favorite podcast host, for example. In that case, you’re more likely to remember it than an ad where the narrator is a professional voice actor hired by a casting company. There’s a strong connection between the creator and consumer, and brands can leverage that.”

As such, Kelly foresees a rise in ad-supported audio mediums. Even though recession fears are considerably muted, economic challenges and inflation are still leading to subscription cuts, turning instead to free, ad-supported platforms like radio, podcasts, and streaming services. This shift offers brands a chance to reach audiences in environments where advertisements are an expected part of the experience. Kelly says, “Audio is a uniquely capable medium for upper-funnel campaigns. There are a few reasons why that’s the case. Reach is a big one. Most people interact with audio by listening to a podcast or internet radio, tuning into commercial broadcast radio, or simply through a streaming service like Spotify or Apple Music. With so many formats, there’s this massive addressable market for advertisers to talk to.”

Lastly, both anticipate a rise in ‘event-aware’ advertising, where ads are more relevant and timely based on the user’s environment as geo-targeting becomes more common. This approach not only improves ad performance but also enhances user experience, leading to audience growth and increased value for creators and media owners.


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