What Are We Hearing Now? August 2018

What Are We Hearing Now is Audiodraft’s monthly series showcasing the latest news and insights from the world of audio branding. The importance of what we hear is increasingly important for brands right now. Take a look at the potential audio can bring to your brand and join the conversation!

“Technology is moving toward more audio.”

The popularity burst of digital streaming technologies is pushing brands to get creative with their content. In fact, some brands have already started to harness the potential of digital audio and music. Bacardi has realized the opportunity for interacting with audiences by collaborating with streaming services, SoundCloud in this instance. Meanwhile in the land down under, Wrigley’s made a similar reach out towards music listening communities by turning their ad campaign into a talent show for emerging new artists.

Music has the power to tie together entire communities and digital audio has made reaching those communities possible. Brands, who wish to remain relevant in this current trend, have to start taking the role of music into further consideration in their audio strategies to maximize reach and conversions.

The big names have been listening too

Samsung is collaborating with Spotify in similar cross-industrial fashion. In fact, music streaming business is becoming more competitive than ever because that is where the big audiences loom.

Amazon is challenging Apple and Spotify in the streaming game by targeting their content to people who listen through speakers rather than headphones. Judging by the impending arms race, we’re heading for a big time entering of high quality speakers. What happens on the hardware side of things will eventually raise the quality bar for content too. The need for premium audio production quality will become topical and now is the perfect time to get ahead of the curve.

Steve Jobs was right about podcasts

13 years after announcing iTunes compatibility with the medium, podcasts have grown from niche market to 80+ million audience platform. As an audio-only channel podcasts challenge brands to really pay attention to the mechanics of their audio brand. What is the correct tone of voice or what kind of music fits the style? Custom-made audio is the answer, as it allows brands to control the production from start to finish, because they will be working directly with the producers, rather than downloading a fixed, uneditable library track.

The compelling voice

Learning to utilize voice-activated technologies is vital, since right now they are experiencing an even more rapid growth than podcasts. They are turning into a powerful tool for driving interaction with audiences. The thing that makes voice assistants and smart speakers especially exciting, however, is their effect on people’s consumption behavior online. It’s time to start investigating how your brand could be heard through voice!

Marketers, make sure your content is on point

Until now, we have been used to rendering the 6 second-long bumper ads as a regular nuisance in YouTube. Now, the company is giving an option for advertisers to upload ads that cannot be skipped at all. This means that if you tick the ‘non-skippable’ box, your content quality needs to be quite elaborate, were you to make a profitable impression on viewers. Meanwhile, Spotify is doing the exact opposite in testing out unlimited ad skipping. This presents a two-fold challenge for content producers: With Spotify’s approach, 1) your audio content needs to be so good that it compels the listener to stay and not skip, and with YouTube, 2) your audio content needs to support the visual information so enticingly that it makes watching your ad worth the trouble. Custom productions are the best way to reach those targets.

The importance of the experience

Digital audio and smartphones have made it possible for people to take their record collections along anywhere they go. This has elevated the role of the environment and context in the music listening experience. For example, the fitness market has benefited greatly from this phenomenon. People are using music to set up moods that help them exercise better.

From branding perspective, the power of music as an emotional catalyst is definitely intriguing. In a suitable environment, right musical choices can lead to better gains for brands too. Can you think of what type of music that fits your brand’s product or service contexts? Let us help you in finding your brand sounds!

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