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Connected Audio Continues To Dominate

Once again, audio has hit the headlines as it continues to go from strength to strength. The latest RAJAR results overall showed a strong picture across the market with core growth coming through connected audio, now reaching two-thirds of all UK adults, shifting from half in 2019.

Connected audio is flourishing

We see the development of connected audio continue to flourish, covering podcasts, audiobooks, streaming music, catch-up radio, and any live radio consumed via smartphones, computers, smart speakers, etc. With the advancements in technology over the past 5 years, we naturally see consumers' habits changing, which is reflected in the latest figures. The release of the RAJAR and Midas figures at the end of May shows that one of the strong growth areas is on-demand music, up nearly 14% in weekly reach since 2018, now at 36% weekly reach.

Live radio still dominates

Despite the digitalisation of audio, we still see live radio taking the lion’s share of listening, with 70% of all adults’ listening time being live radio. This shows that radio still dominates the audio space and that the shift in listening is purely platform-based and changes in the way people consume the media. The benefit of this shift is how we can target listeners, allowing us to use data points to cleverly target consumers seamlessly across radio. If we look at Octave’s Illuminate product, it has developed from utilising Bauer’s data to now having the ability to retarget consumers exposed to audio via Octave with digital display across Bauer’s sites. This connectivity between audio and display is game-changing in the market for enhancing the consumer’s purchase journey.

Connectivity allows deeper engagement

As we see more users engaging with audio digitally, it can open the door for brands to connect on a deeper level. Spotify is leading the way in the connectivity space, weaving the latest AI technology into their app with their personalised playlists and specifically their ‘daylist’, which curates playlists depending on learnings from consumers’ behaviours throughout the day and week. We are yet to see this area monetised with brands but this could come before the end of the year, and we aren’t far away from brands monetising their infamous ‘Wrapped’ property. This heightened personalisation can truly capture consumers’ attention and will allow brands to benefit from enhanced engagement.

Consumers’ behaviours will continue to adapt

We will continue to see growth in connected audio over the coming years. The difficulty is knowing what this level of connectivity will do for brands; however, we know that early adopters in the technology and AI capabilities will benefit vastly from setting themselves apart from their competitors. Personalisation in the space continues to be important, but ensuring the balance is right is key. In no time, we have no doubt that AI will be able to pull audio copy with humanistic quality bespoke to a listener’s requirements, opening the door to bespoke copy easily without production costs.