Five Ways the Digital Audio Advertising Market Will Evolve in 2022

The digital audio advertising industry has changed drastically over the past few years. With the entrance of new streaming platforms, the maturation of podcasting as a new advertising medium, and advancements in digital audio measurement, it is easy to see that 2022 will be a year filled with innovation, change, and growth.

As we close out this first month of 2022, we’ve asked some of our industry experts to share their thoughts about what we can expect to happen in the audio advertising market this year. Here’s what they had to say:

As podcasts continue to grow in popularity, ads will evolve

As interest in podcasting continues to grow, we will see advertisers add alternative methods of advertising, beyond traditional streaming and radio.

We can expect to not only see additional ad dollars flock towards podcasts, but a shift in the way advertisers deliver those ads to reflect market demand. Listeners are not interested or engaged in long advertisements on this medium, so we can expect to see advertisers favoring a shorter ad format, as well as ads that are introduced in steps or series, to better attract and engage listeners. Another tactic we can expect to increase in the coming year is advertisers creating sound signatures (or brand recognition sounds), that play within their ads to better appeal to the audience. It’s only just the beginning for podcast advertising, and 2022 will be an exciting shift in the market.

Smaller media agencies will embrace podcast advertising

Smaller media agencies are hesitant to learn a new advertising platform when older platforms, like radio, continue to be highly effective and relatively easy to buy.

In the next year, we can expect to see smaller agencies invest more in podcast advertising and follow in the steps of the larger players. While advertising still has its challenges in terms of measurement, many smaller agencies won’t want to risk being left in the dust and will begin to dip their toes in what podcast advertising has to offer.

The three themes of 2022: Video, text and platforms

Podcasting throughout 2022 will be driven by three main themes: video, text, and platforms. For video, we wouldn’t be surprised to see vodcasts, or ‘video podcasts’, as a discovery tool, or a significant shift towards publishing in general (YouTube jumping into the mix is a ‘when’ not an ‘if’, so how they roll out to integrate RSS with their platform will be something to watch). In regard to text, we can expect to see an evolution in how we use transcripts and metadata to better help with publishing workflows, discovery, brand safety, and advertising. Lastly, for platforms -- it’s about time we witnessed another streaming platform enter the double-digit share of podcast listening. Apple and Spotify are the only two doing it currently, but our money is on Facebook as the one to watch here.

Prediction: Programmatic will Establish Itself as the #1 Vehicle for Digital Audio Advertising

While traditional radio is still the lion’s share of programmatic, we’re seeing programmatic become more prominent in other areas of digital audio, such as streaming, podcasts and digital radio. The reason? Programmatic enables you to strategically target premium digital audiences against traditional broadcast metrics including geography and format.

Over the next year, we’ll see a shift in programmatic advertising across digital audio, due to its ability to deliver the insight and control advertisers seek, with the increase in ad spending desired by publishers.

Audio measurement will increase in both sophistication and depth 

Understanding the behaviors and demographics of audiences across new mediums is imperative but continues to be a challenge.

Over the next year, we can expect to see advancements as it relates to the sophistication and breadth of metrics providers are able to gather. This will have a positive correlation with advertisers’ interest and confidence in digital audio mediums, such as podcasts, enabling them to leverage these mediums for effective and powerful advertising campaigns. We will see measurement go a level deeper – sharing insights into person-level demographics, socio-demographics, media behavior and purchase intent propensities. Additionally, we should expect to see new methods of digital audio measurement explored, developed and tested in the next year. Integration of additional data sources and the use of machine learning and data science will create a path towards cross-platform insights with more details around reach and frequency estimates. As we continue to gain a better understanding of digital audio listeners, advertisers will use this data to enable more ad planning and buying, helping agencies and brands place ads to reach their desired audience.