e4m Webinar: 'Audio reach has gone up from 38% in H1 2019 to 49% in H1 2020'

Martech Fridays: Discussing the topic 'Unlocking Audio Potential, industry experts said vernacular content will be the next big thing in Audio

e4m by exchange4media Staff
Updated: Sep 28, 2020 10:59 AM
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The coronavirus pandemic has undoubtedly accelerated the growh of various media formats which otherwise would have taken longer to reach that level. Audio is one such example. Marketers across the world are now showing an inclination towards unlocking audio potential for brands. Audio advertising and marketing has been growing in the times of Covid, and to understand more on this, e4m curated yet another insightful virtual panel discussion as part of Martech Fridays webinar series on September 25, 2020. The topic of the debte was: Unlocking Audio Potential. 

On the panel were Virginia Sharma, Vice President - Brand Solutions, JioSaavn; Vishal Kamath, Director - Digital, South Asia, Nielsen India Pvt Ltd; and Ravi Shharma, VP Revenue Head, Gaana. The panel was chaired by Rita Sahajpaul, National Head-Product and Marketing Science, Xaxis.

Sahajpaul commenced the discussion by highlighting the findings of an audio survey conducted by Xaxis which indicated that in spite of the difficulties of adoption, there is a huge untapped potential for audio advertising to grow.

She then questioned the panelists on how do consumers feel about using audio and what part does audio play for marketers. Kamath responded by putting the spotlight on the shift in consumer base from traditional to digital during the lockdown. "There is a spike in engagement across categories in the digital space with a huge behavioural change among consumers. Audio reach has gone up from 38 per cent in H1 2019 to 49 per cent in H1 2020’. There has been a 3X growth of Reach in the last five years,” said Kamath.

“In the last 5 years, there has been a 2X growth in engagement and frequency of usage among active audio streamers. There is consistent usage of audio platforms throughout the day unlike the pre-Covid times when the peak used to be around the transit times in the morning,” he added.

Sharma added, "Audio platforms do help in creating a positive business outcome. Definitely, audio has seen an upsurge in usage and consumption.”

Talking about JioSaavn, Virginia informed that Covid has aided the rise of spiritual music as a genre. Spritual music went up 18% and dance music and EDM went down 21%. She added, "On the festive season of Ganesh Chaturthi, we saw 69% increase in Marathi stream and these were dance numbers, so people are really moving the party indoors. From content genre perspective, we saw kids content increase 155% during the pandemic and kids content has become another genre in itself.”

Moving forward, the session chair asked if there is a competition between audio and video platforms. Virginia responded with a no and said that both types of formats have their own relevance. Both co-exist seamlessly.

On being asked on how measurement has evolved for audio as a format, Kamath explained that top players like Gaana and JioSaavn have collaborated with measurement agencies like Nielsen. He further explained that there are two key metrics for Reach measurement of audio: In-Target Reach and On-Target per cent.

Adding further, he said, "Advertisers feel that lack of campaign measurement and lack of ability to measure impact of audio advertisements is actually a barrier for your decision making; whether to invest more or less. There are campaigns where audio platforms have delivered upwards of 25% brand lift. This is not restricted to established brands, but seen for new-age brands that are getting launched in market. If we compare the number of campaigns in last six months of 2019 to the number of campaigns in the first six months of 2020, it has increased by three times."

Sahajpaul then asked panelists on innovation in audio and what it means for brands in the category. Sharma cited the example of Gaana, saying that it has a perfect marriage of content to technology when it comes to offering services to advertisers. He urged the advertisers to think of audio as a separate platform and create ads and creatives that cater to the target audience on the medium. Highlighting the innovation done by Gaana in terms of advertising, he talked about two: dynamic ads and voice-activated ads that cater to different preference of listeners across tiers.

“It is much easier to churn out a podcast from your home-office versus getting the entire production team together to get the video content created, said Sahajpaul. "From a content perspective, we need to give tools to the content creators to make them comfortable in creating the right content," added Sahajpaul.

To conclude the virtual panel discussion, Sahajpaul quizzed the panelists on the broad trends that audio will witness in next couple of years. The panelists zeroed in on vernacular content becoming more popular. They also agreed that there will be an increase in budget allocation by advertisers in audio.

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