How to Measure the Unseen: Digital Audio, Emotions, and Ad Effectiveness
Research conducted by Choueri Group Data Team on insights to the impact of audio.
Accessing Is The New Owning Over the past years, we have witnessed the rise of the access economy, where consumers pay for access, not for ownership. By providing consumers with convenient and cost-efficient access to resources without the hassle of ownership, many mature industries have been disrupted. Uber, Airbnb, and Kickstarter are some examples of access economy companies that are transforming the automotive, hotels, and financial services industries.
Media is another industry where we are seeing access-based distribution models changing the media landscape. Spotify, Pandora, Youtube, Netflix and other streaming media services are obvious examples. One of the first industries to be transformed by the access economy is music. The effffffect was massive on the audio landscape, as consumers shifted habits. Time spent on music apps has grown 79% in the last year and the global revenue from music subscription and streaming platforms has grown by more than 60%. Music streaming is changing the way that the world is listening to music.
Streaming Has Gone Mainstream In MENA
There is a major shift in the way audio streamers are listening in MENA. Anghami, the only digital audio platform in the region, is reaching around 25% of the online MENA population monthly. The MENA audience is always on and highly tuned in, with the typical cross-platform user averaging 81 minutes of listening per day. Looking at the consumption behavior throughout the day on Anghami vs traditional broadcast Radio, we notice that while radio listening activity over-indexes in the morning, Anghami listening builds steadily throughout the day, peaking in the afternoon and early evening. The MENA audiences are using digital audio in their everyday moments.
At this point, few would argue that streaming is mainstream in MENA. However, there are some interesting details in the data.
1. MENA is leading globally Saudi Arabian audio listeners are dominant in the global market; KSA has
the highest share of time spent listening to digital audio at 24%, compared to the US at 15%. Moreover, KSA has a significant streaming reach of 51% of the online population, the global comparison is lower at 37%.
2. Mobile is driving the huge streaming media opportunity 90% of music streamers are listening on mobile, compared to 72% of mobile consumption in MENA. The growth of mobile and audio is related because you don’t have to stop and watch audio; audio is everywhere, in your pocket, wherever you are going, on the move. 3. Anghami is built on MENA’S love of free audio streaming. Ad-supported audio streaming will continue to be Anghami’s most popular product. As of September 2017, 80% use the service for free and are, therefore, exposed to the platform’s ads. Spotify stands at 70% and Pandora at 60%.
The Only Way Is Up
The love of free music streaming and the media opportunity created are behind the huge success achieved so far by the music streaming industry. It definitely had an impact on the time users spend on radio’s former listening monopoly. There is potential for growth, and what is exciting about the numbers is the growth trajectories. New users are joining the trend every day and existing users are now listening to even more music. MENA users have increased at a significant rate; a 61% increase from 2016, up to 53 million in 2017. Not only is the number of users increasing but also the time spent listening. Time spent increased 64% up to 81 minutes in 2017. The other main thing to remember is the makeup of that audience, as many of the people streaming music are harder to reach. 23% of Anghami users in KSA do not listen to radio, which results in an incremental reach of 12%.
The new audio landscape is a reality, and advertisers need to adapt to the new world order for audio. The opportunity to connect with a hard-to-reach demographic through digital audio platforms means that advertisers can now reach everyone through audio platforms combined.
Marketers Expect To Increase The Investments In Digital Audio Ads
In a recent Choueiri Group survey on the future of digital audio ads in MENA; it was shown that marketers today spend less than 5% of their digital budget on audio platforms, 69% expect to increase their investment in digital audio ads and currently, 77% of their budget is spent on digital campaigns. MENA audiences have started to embrace audio streaming for a few years now, but the adoption of digital audio advertising may be in the crawl stages. The main digital audio challenges for MENA marketers are understanding the impact of digital audio advertising and knowing how to plug it into the marketing mix as it doesn’t fall neatly into either the traditional or the digital camp.
Why Every Marketer Needs a Digital Audio Strategy
The benefits of digital audio advertising extend beyond reach. Audio has a distinct power to build long-lasting emotional connections with consumers, a power augmented by digital technology that is making audio advertising precise, measurable and relevant.
To quantify the impact that music listening has on brands and create global benchmarks for the region, a Brand Impact study conducted by DMS, Anghami and Nielsen, analyzed multiple campaigns, across sectors and markets. Results show that audio ads are 3x as likely to lift purchase intent than display ads, 2x as likely to lift brand awareness, and 2x as likely to lift brand favorability. Digital audio streamers are also twice as likely as non-streamers to advocate for and feel emotionally connected to brands, and twice as likely to have rational associations with the brands. In general, regardless of brand or sector, streamers are more likely to allocate positive attributes to brands compared to non-streamers.
Research results also indicated that when brands add digital audio ads to an existing broadcast campaign, the average purchase intent increases by 11%. The results are aligned with global findings, confirming that audio is no longer one unified channel. Broadcast and digital audio very much complement each other, and if marketers are only concentrating on one of them, they may be missing out on the benefits they both bring to the table.
We are observing the beginning of an evolving landscape. The opportunities are endless and exciting. Whether or not digital audio will displace audio in the future is not clear. But what’s clear is that the new audio landscape is evolving and it will keep evolving with the growing access economy. It’s time to shift the mentality away from thinking about defined silos like digital and radio, and start having a full audio conversation. As the world continues to go mobile and embrace streaming, the brands that know how to take advantage of these platforms, how to be part of the moments when people are listening and watching, are the ones ready to win the future.