audio streaming, music streaming

It’s Easy to Measure Streaming Audio (Along with Your Podcasts)

Streaming audio had a head-start on podcasting in establishing digital audio advertising. It’s been around a little longer, becoming practical in the late 90s, while podcasting emerged around 2003.  Ads on streaming audio didn’t quite coalesce into an industry until the mid-2000s, but that’s still earlier than podcasts.

That can make streaming audio advertising seem like old hat compared to podcasting. Yet, it still accounted for the majority of the estimated $5.9B in digital audio ad revenue in 2022. Streaming audio advertising includes both ad-supported music streaming and AM/FM streaming, the latter of which represents a growing proportion of AM/FM listening – Edison Research reports that streaming now accounts for 13% of all AM/FM listening, up from 5% in 2014.

Increasingly, streaming audio and podcasting are being included together in the same overall digital audio campaign strategy, especially by larger brands. That makes sense, since the digital audio habit cuts across channels. According to Sounds Profitable’s The Podcast Landscape, 41% of monthly podcast listeners also listened to AM/FM streaming in the last 30 days, and 59% have listened to ad-supported streaming music. 

Because digital audio adtech was born with streaming, the ability to tag and measure streaming ads is a mature technology. This makes live, tagged brand lift studies a breeze to execute. These studies give us an organic, in-market read on how listeners respond to the ads they’ve heard as part of their everyday listening. Brands learn how well their campaigns drive important upper- and mid-funnel KPIs like awareness, favorability and consideration.

Using the same methodology and tech, podcasts can be measured right alongside streaming in the same study. This provides the assurance that you can compare each channel’s performance head-to-head, apples-to-apples. Using a holistic brand lift approach, you see how different audiences and demographics respond to the messaging and ad creatives. Importantly, you can go beyond simply asking if streaming or podcasts outperformed, and instead investigate why. 

The ad creative is a critical component to campaign performance, and may actually be under-analyzed in streaming, compared to podcasts. Taking a holistic approach helps you uncover if the creative itself has more of an influence on performance than the platform. Simply put, audiences differ in their response to ad creatives, and the context matters. Since these are all among the variables at play when booking streaming audio placements, they can be part of the analysis.

Ultimately, every ad buyer should be assured that any campaign including digital audio can be measured. We at Signal Hill Insights would love to help you, so please don’t hesitate to reach out.

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