Opinion: The Future of Audio

Posted on November 27th, 2019 by Mary Caitlyn Polovich

 

The future and the power of audio is a hot topic and True Media AMD, Elizabeth Van Kort, is here to explain how audio can be incorporated in your media strategy, both now and in the years to come.

Where do you see the audio landscape progressing in the future?

Audio and voice go hand in hand, as consumers increase their use of voice activated products, the industry must answer that demand with an increase in audio solutions. Also, as multi-tasking continues to increase, it makes sense that audio listenership would increase as well, as people are ingesting more content into their daily lives than ever before.  

How does the direction of audio effect your recommendations for client strategy? 

Audio continues to grow and be a key part of the recommendations we share with our clients; however, as agencies, we must continue to push for more targeted opportunities when audio is a channel within the overall media mix. Historically, audio has been one of the least targeted channels, but with the increase in listenership, we need to push as an industry for more targeted opportunities to reach the target audience. Additional targeting will also allow for further optimization of campaigns, giving vendors and agencies more levers to use in order to increase performance.

What are your predictions for the future of traditional radio compared to digital audio?

The merging of traditional and digital audio will continue to be an opportunity for agencies, and ultimately, for brands. SiriusXM acquiring Pandora this year was a strong signal within the industry. We cannot continue to treat traditional and digital audio in the silos they have been handled in for so many years, as the two sides continue to merge together. The key focus must be who we are reaching and not whether we have reached them via a radio tower signal or a WiFi connection. Approaching the audio channel must be done cohesively from start to finish. All audio types must be planned cohesively, purchased cohesively, executed cohesively, and analyzed cohesively.

What do you think are contributing factors to the growth of digital audio?

I think the convenience of digital audio is one of the key reasons for its growth. It’s hard to pick up a book sometimes, but it’s easy to turn on an audiobook. It’s inconvenient to go to a conference halfway across the country, but it’s easy to listen to a podcast from a leading industry expert. It takes a minute to get out your phone and search for the high temperature that day, but it’s easy to just ask Siri and have her tell you what to wear based on the weather forecast. You get the idea – convenience is king! And as consumers do more than they ever have within a 24-hour window, the convenience of audio is allowing for the ease of access and multi-tasking that consumers expect.

How do you see voice recognition devices becoming a part of campaigns as companies really taking advantage of this feature? Do you think that will continue to grow or will other forms of audio be more popular?  

Yes, I fully expect voice-activated devices to continue to be on the rise. However, what I expect to continue to shift is the number of devices in which voice activation is a feature. In a few years, we will be talking with almost every device we have in our home and at our work. Need to know the weather for the day? Ask the mirror as you brush your teeth. Need to get dinner started? Tell the oven to turn on. Need to copy a document at work? Let the printer know how many copies you need. The proliferation of voice within the IoT (Internet of Things) is going to be one of the most dramatic changes over the next decade and consumers’ expectations around user experience will skyrocket as a result. As marketers, we need to stay ahead of these innovations and understand how the preferences consumers are sharing via their voice requests can shape the advertising experience we deliver to them to be as relevant and useful as possible.