Walk down the streets of any major city around the world and take a look at all the people you pass along the way. Chances are you’ll see more people wearing earphones and headphones, in all of their shapes and sizes, than not. Most of those people, whether they’re consuming music or podcasts, will be listening through an audio streaming platform.
In fact, Spotify’s 500 million-plus users spent more than 132 billion hours streaming audio on the platform in 2022. And that’s just Spotify. Factor in other platforms, including the likes of Mdundo and Audiomack, and the numbers become truly astronomical. Africa isn’t immune to the embrace of music streaming either. According to Statista, music streaming revenue is set to grow more than nine percent a year over the next four years, aided by constantly improving levels of connectivity.
That growth in audio streaming across the continent doesn’t just represent an opportunity for artists and streaming platforms. It’s also a powerful opportunity for brands to market to their customers in new, innovative, and effective ways.
Reach, elevated engagement, and personalisation
Before looking at how brands can make use of those opportunities, it’s worth looking at some of the advantages that marketing on audio streaming platforms offers.
One of the biggest advantages that advertising on audio streaming platforms offers is that it allows advertisers to reach their customers wherever they are and whatever they’re doing. Unlike traditional radio, which is largely restricted to people’s homes and vehicles, people can listen to audio streaming when they’re commuting on public transport, working out, or even just going for a walk. Given the growing importance of meeting customers where they are, that’s a powerful incentive to embrace marketing through audio streaming all on its own.
But ads on audio streaming platforms can also be more engaging. There are fewer screen-related distractions (especially if the listener is doing something that doesn’t allow them to scroll on their device at the same time), and audio also feeds the listener’s imagination. In fact, research from shows found that “digital audio listeners have an elevated listening experience compared to broadcast radio, resulting in more memorability, engagement, and emotional intensity.”
Adding to this increased engagement is the fact that audio-streaming ads can be highly personalised according to the listener’s interests. That can then be further refined by age and location, ensuring that people only hear the adverts that are most relevant to them.
Sounding out the right partner
It should be clear then that audio streaming platforms have a lot to offer from an advertising perspective and can be a powerful addition to any company’s marketing mix. But if you’re going to get the most out of adding audio-streaming ads to your mix, it’s important to do so with the right partner.
Ideally, you should look to work with a partner who has extensive experience working with the streaming platforms most relevant to your target customers. Moreover, they should be able to help you produce the most effective marketing content tailored to those platforms.
For whichever platform you’re advertising on, that also means having an innate understanding of all the available ad formats. These include audio ads but may also extend to things like video takeovers, sponsored sessions, and display ads. Remember, while audio is the largest component of any streaming platform, people still have to open the app and scroll to get to the content they want. Implemented effectively, all of these formats can be brought together to ensure your marketing messaging is delivered to maximum effect.
For the love of listening
Right now, audio-streaming services play an incredibly important role in day-to-day media consumption around the world, including in Africa. And as connectivity becomes ever more ubiquitous and affordable, that role will only increase. As such, any business wanting to really meet its customers where they are should embrace the marketing opportunities that they present.