Day two of Global’s Media and Entertainment week here at OMD UK got off to a delightful start as two cellists from Classic FM, Steffan Morris and Ren Ford, filled reception with some classic string melodies for the first half hour of the day. This really showcased the breadth of audio entertainment available in the digital age and there were pastries too!
After this stimulating start we reported in to an informative session on Digital Audio. Ryan Rummery, Head of Digital at Global, took us through the history of digital audio streaming from the early piratical days of Napster right up to Meghan Trainor – the first artist to score a top 40 hit without actually selling a single copy of her song “All About that Bass”.
Whilst many still treasure their vinyl (or tape!?) collections the UK audio trend sees ownership moving into access. Since the connected device explosion, 34m listening hours were added in one year in the early stages with 12 million hours lost across paid and unpaid “owned” music. Because this listening is now connected and commercial, brands can serve ads to those new listening hours where previously it couldn’t be done on, say, iTunes or CDs. To add to this, sites like US-based SoundCloud see 12 hours of audio uploaded every minute – audio is far from declining.
The streaming trend is visible in the broader audio market too. The market for wireless speaker systems has grown 200% year on year, headphones are now a $8.4 billion dollar global market and there will be 50m new connected cars in market each year by 2017.
For brands the ramifications are broad. Audio is a lead driver of Trust and Intent compared to other media and 75% digital audio sessions are not preceded by any other smartphone activity, making this a focussed platform to engage with consumers on. With Global’s DAX platform poised to deliver digital audio ads across the whole market, the future for audio advertising looks bright.