What Are We Hearing Now? July 2018

How are the smart speakers and audio streaming changing our internet consumption behavior? Is audio finally getting the marketing cred it deserves?

It’s time to present a new edition of ‘What Are We Hearing Now’, compiling the latest news and insights from the world of audio branding for you to take a look and join the conversation. There’s a lot going on in the audio-first world, so let’s get right to it!

Music to tell a story

We often say, that music has the power to associate memories and powerful emotions, and now there is all the more reason to stick to that mantra. The social media giant Instagram’s Stories feature has upgraded audio-wise, as all its users will soon be able to add music into their photos and videos. The platform is compiling an extensive music library consisting of thousands of songs and keeps expanding on a daily basis. Users can search for a song based on its genre, popularity and, more interestingly, moods.

Users with iOs have already been treated with this feature and soon Android folks are joining the party. Could it be that we’re actually witnessing a new kind of music trend taking shape within our phones?

Audio opens up marketing opportunities

The age of smartphones and other smart devices have lifted the consumption of audio off the roof. Streaming has widened the habitat of audio from the comfy chair next to your CD-player, to practically everywhere in under a decade. Music, podcasts and audiobooks can be consumed while driving or commuting to work, or from your Alexa at the kitchen table. This has opened a world of opportunities for advertisers.

It’s time to get smart

Speaking of Alexa, the buzz around smart speakers is growing stronger. For instance, major news companies have now started to adapt their services to these new platforms. The numbers are showing that a wide demographic is getting accustomed to the era of audio-first internet experiences. In fact, all you responsible parents out there will be glad to hear that voice-commanded devices have started to eat away phone users’ screen times, so perhaps in the future your kids won’t be spending that much time staring at their phones.

As the demographic of the smart speaker users widens, marketers’ appetites are naturally growing at least with a similar pace. And with good reason. This previously uncharted marketing territory, have seen new tactics emerge lately, which indicate the massive potential lying in voice-activated technologies. Meanwhile in the software side, things are getting even deeper, as voice assistants have actually started molding our consumption behavior. It very much seems that we are on the verge of entering the golden age of audio marketing.

The game of streaming is on

Let’s get back to the streaming for a bit. It seems that Apple have caught Spotify in the music streaming biz and is now seriously contending to regain its place as the number one music distributor. While Spotify has relied on algorithms and easily accessible playlists, Apple has taken a different route. It will be interesting to see how things turn out, but one thing is certain: it’s all about the music.

And as we speak about streaming audio, we shouldn’t forget podcasts. They are yet another audio-related phenomenon that we have seen gaining ground over the last year or so. The medium has proven to be very useful for advertisers who want to tap into a certain niche or interest, as nearly any topic one might think of probably has an episode or too already recorded. More importantly, they can access consumers who are unable to access screens, which is a major advantage in reaching new audiences. As the industry keeps growing, more brands will be looking into starting their own shows and finding their own ways of getting recognized by the well-informed podcast audiences. Don’t miss out on the great opportunities that audio can bring to your brand!

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