Digital audio advertising is the advertising trend of the moment. Not only did digital audio listenership withstand the pandemic, but it actually grew during it, with digital audio exceeding radio for the first time in 2020, representing a huge opportunity for audio advertising.

Since then, digital audio has gone from strength to strength, and in 2023, nearly 55% of audio time will be spent on digital platforms.

One of the most significant advantages of digital audio for advertisers is that it can reach people virtually anywhere — whether they’re sweating it out at the gym, commuting to work, or whipping up dinner for their families. 

This contrasts with other types of digital advertising, such as video or display ads, which require the target audience to be looking at their screens while ads are served. 

So it’s not surprising that this particular channel is set to become the next big thing in advertising in 2023, with digital audio ad spend worldwide projected to hit $8.95 billion this year. 

If you want to stay ahead of the curve and harness the potential of digital audio advertising, read on for four of the most important audio advertising trends in 2023. 

But first, let’s take a look at some statistics to get an idea of the potential reach of digital audio.

2023 Audio Advertising Statistics You Need to Know

2022 was a bumper year for digital audio, with increasing numbers of advertisers turning to digital audio content to raise brand awareness among audio listeners. 

Here are just a few of the statistics that indicate digital audio will only continue to grow in popularity among both users and advertisers in 2023. 

  • Seventy-four percent of adults in the US formed part of the digital audio listenership in 2022, according to Insider Intelligence.
  • Four out of 10 working-age internet users worldwide say they use music streaming services at least once per week, according to a report by GWI.
  • The average user now spends 36 waking days per year listening to music on streaming platforms (GWI).
  • The average user spends one hour 38 minutes listening to streaming audio services each day — just 13 minutes less than “conventional” TV (i.e., broadcast and cable) (GWI).
  • 21.2% of working-age internet users worldwide listen to podcasts each week for an average of one hour and two minutes per day (GWI).
  • In 2022, US adults spent more time each day listening to digital audio (1:40) than they did watching subscription video services (1:27) or using social media networks (1:15), according to Insider Intelligence.
  • 273 million Spotify users and 44.2 million Pandora listeners opt for ad-supported tiers.
  • 35% of US adults, 30% of Canadian adults, and 28% of Australian adults owned smart speakers in 2022, according to Statista

Now that you have an idea of why it’s worth investing in digital audio advertising, let’s take a look at the digital audio trends that will be prevalent in 2023. 

Audio Advertising Is Capturing Listeners’ Attention

Did you know that digital audio ads have a 24% higher recall rate than traditional display ads? This makes them one of the most powerful tools in a marketer’s toolbox and one that can contribute to increasing brand awareness and trust. 

Edison Research found that 51% of podcast “Super Listeners” — those who listen to five or more hours of podcast content per week — say they pay more attention to podcast ads than other types of media, and 50% agree that podcasts ads are the best way to reach them. Additionally, 53% say they have a better opinion of a brand that advertises on podcasts they regularly listen to.

Plus, the ubiquitous nature of audio advertising means it will likely become an essential element of many advertising strategies, integrating with other media types to increase brand awareness and trust.

Podcasts Will Continue to Dominate

2022 was the year of the podcast, with podcast listenership in the US growing by 20%, according to Triton Digital’s 2022 Podcast Report. With content ranging from news to lifestyle and everything in between, the proliferation of podcasts means there’s something for everyone — which is helping to drive podcast growth.

According to Triton, news, comedy, and true crime are the most popular genres. Meanwhile, sports, political, and current events interview-style shows are also gaining popularity, providing listeners with diverse topics and different business perspectives.

Deploying podcast ads as part of a well-rounded marketing strategy will therefore be a smart move in 2023. As automation and programmatic capabilities become more advanced in audio advertising, marketers will need to focus on highly personalized creatives for their target audiences.

Audio Advertising Will Bloom as a Full-Funnel Channel

Despite the potential recession looming, the advertising industry is likely to shift and refocus budgets in 2023 rather than make deep cuts. In times of recession, top-of-funnel awareness campaigns are often sacrificed in favor of bottom-of-funnel performance campaigns that drive sales. 

Historically, audio advertising has suffered from the perception that it is an awareness-only channel, which led to budget slashes affecting audio ad spend disproportionately. 

However, the ongoing growth in audio advertising spend challenged these long-held beliefs in 2022. And with the advent of programmatic audio advertising, we will see more highly-targeted audio ad campaigns that can move listeners through the funnel, making it into a full-funnel channel. 

With programmatic audio ads, it’s possible to track audio conversions through tools such as floodlights and pixels. A floodlight is a type of tracking tag and a pixel is a small piece of code that’s embedded on a website or app to track user behavior. Both can track website or app visitors who were exposed to a specific audio ad. This information can then be used to create targeted ads for those listeners in the future.

This means that brands now have a tangible way to measure the effectiveness of their audio advertising and create retargeting ads that drive both awareness and conversions to move listeners down the funnel. 

Embracing Programmatic Capabilities in Audio Advertising

Finally, 2023 will be the year companies need to embrace programmatic ad automation in their audio advertising campaigns. Programmatic audio advertising is a method of delivering targeted audio ads to listeners via online streaming platforms, podcasts, or other digital audio services.

Here’s how it works: advertisers create audio ads and deliver them to an advertising platform. The platform then uses data about the listener, such as their age, location, and listening habits, to target the ad to specific individuals or groups of individuals. The ad is delivered to the listener in real-time while they are listening to their chosen audio content.

One of the advantages of programmatic audio advertising is that it allows advertisers to target their ads more effectively, which can lead to higher engagement and better results. Additionally, programmatic advertising can be automated, making it easier and more efficient for advertisers to manage their campaigns.

Another advantage of programmatic audio advertising is that you can combine it with display advertising for a more complete ad experience. For example, many audio apps such as Spotify and Pandora will allow you to include companion banners with the audio file so that a banner ad shows up on the screen while the audio ad is playing. This allows people to click through to a website while listening to the ad.

Drawing from a range of data — from affinity data to time or location-sensitive information — brands can determine how best to personalize content and deliver it automatically. In 2023, we will see brands begin to invest in and expand this technology.

Already, DSPs such as The Trade Desk provide targeting capabilities to target almost anyone based on their behavioral attributes and monitor performance in real-time.

2023 Will Be the Year Audio Advertising Blasts Off

Will you be riding the audio advertising rocket in 2023? Learn more about why you should include audio ads in your 2023 marketing strategy in this article on the top benefits of audio advertising for brands

Curious to know more about the future of audio advertising and the smartest ways to invest in it? Book a strategy session with Grapeseed Media

Powered by our panel of adtech experts, it will guide you through the best audio advertising options for your brand in 2023.