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Listen Up: Importance of Streaming Audio

With nearly 40% of the US population now regularly listening to Streaming Audio, it is clear this medium can no longer be considered ‘optional’ by advertisers who employ broadcast radio in their media mix. Beyond the opportunity for advertisers to reach consumers through an additional touch point, the true value of Streaming Audio comes through the increase in brand awareness, ad recall and – most importantly – ad response! While the reach might not be as large as other channels within the Emerging Media sector, the numbers show this listening audience is truly engaged and committed to the platform. Outside of the increasing consumer adoption, below are four quick points that drive home the value of streaming audio:

1. Consumers are listening so much more than we thought: For years, the working assumption on Streaming Audio has been that it caters to the 9-to-5 crowd who listen in bursts throughout the workday. However, recent studies have shown a very different story in the usage patterns of consumers.

  • It may be big at work, but it’s absolutely HUGE at home; 79% stream on home PC compared to 52% at   workplace.
  • The listening day is significantly longer than expected; from 10a to 10p consumers are actively streaming audio (important to note that Morning Drive is still owned by Broadcast Radio.
  • Consumers listen for hours each day; 80% of all listeners will spend 1-3 hours a day listening, with 25% listening 3+ hours per session.

2. Streaming Audio is not a passive activity: The working assumption has been that Streaming Audio has been a passive medium is just not true – 59% of listeners keep the player up throughout their listening session. Personal taste and content control make this a lean-forward activity for consumers, and with 60% of listeners shopping for or researching a product/service Online, this is a great opportunity to get a message in front of them!

  • Consumers constantly curate their personal soundtrack; 73% of listeners change their station multiple times/day, and 50% of their time is spent actively seeking content on other stations
  • They are actively exploring for new music; 46% frequently look at the player to see the song title or artist name
  • Mood plays a huge role; 61% choose stations based on how they are feeling, and 29% will venture to entirely different sites to match their needs

3. Streaming Audio is a very effective complement to Broadcast Radio buys: Not only does Streaming Audio provide advertisers with an engaged audience, but it also provides a serious lift to campaigns when coupled with either Broadcast Radio or Online display.

  • When paired with a complementary Broadcast Radio buy, Streaming Audio provides an incredible 3.5x increase in ad response
  • When paired with a complementary Online display campaign, Streaming Audio increased ad response by 2x
  • Consumers who listen to both Streaming Audio and Broadcast Radio are up to 8x more likely to respond to ads they hear (both Online and Offline)

4. Premium subscription services get the hype, but not the scale: Even with the ‘popularity’ of sites like Pandora Premium and Spotify, 88% of consumers don’t pay fees for premium access and ad-free content.