What Are We Hearing Now? September 2018
Did you know, that 90% of live music fans are saying brands could step in with their musical offering to enhance concert experiences?
This is absolutely brilliant news for brands! It is a clear invitation for them to join the party and bring their audio content along. Even better, they now have a time and a place where people will feel the least interrupted and the most indulgent for receiving audible branded information. How many local live music events and festivals are arranged near you? That’s where the majority of the listeners say your brand should be at. More to the point, music has a lot to offer to the marketing table, when used along the brand guidelines.
Home is where the smart is
Let’s move on, from the hustle and bustle of the outdoors to indoors. More specifically, to home. This is the natural habitat of the interactive audio animals called smart speakers. Today, they can be spotted around the world in a growing number of households. In fact, they have already turned out excellent at providing people with quick, practical information from local weather to world news. Interestingly, smart speakers are now dealing with more complex, detailed requests like directions, online shopping, service research and interaction with other home electronics.
This indicates that audio content, with which brands feed these smart devices, are needed in order for people to have better access to products, services and help in the voice-driven ecosystem. In fact, some brands are already doing the good work.
The audio jungle of Amazon
When talking about voice-commanded technologies, the Amazon Alexa is bound to pop up during the conversation. Now, Amazon has announced it will release a handful of new audio products, some of which come with an integrated Alexa. The new line includes more common audio gear like a subwoofer, but also more futuristic equipment like a microwave oven and in-car gadgets.
For brands, this spreading of the Amazon audio jungle means a couple of things: 1) When Google and rest of the voice market players bring in their counter-products, a larger amount of sound and voice content will be called for—no matter if it has to do with practical information or pure entertainment. 2) Better sound quality will result in a better impact of the content, meaning that 3) inadequate, incohesive or non-existent audio content means running the risk of falling behind other brands, who have invested in sound.
What’s your brand’s soundtrack to driving?
The way we have been used to listen to music while driving might be changing. In fact, we talked about this trend already last month. Now, according to the most recent news headlines, the same trend has reached European soil. Seat is developing their in-car speaker systems so that each passenger could get their own separate audio streams.
This calls brands for cultivating and coloring their pool of audio assets. Where the passengers in the past were stuck on listening to the same content from a single radio channel, there are now multiple pipelines for introducing a brand through audio. Instead of repeating short clips of music and voice, develop a wider range of soundtracks to fit all purposes from drives to the supermarket to multi-hour grand tours.
We’re in the “Golden Age of Audio”
These days, having a branded podcast might be more valuable than you think. Recently, the CEOs of the leading podcast industry players, iHeartmedia and NPR, shared their views on podcasts role for brands, underlining the medium’s power as a marketing tool.
Interestingly, the massive growth of podcasts has gotten film and TV producers set their eyes on this potential as well. Different types of podcast shows and formats seem to attract a certain type of demographic. This is something, which the production companies are looking to capitalize by turning podcasts into a visual format.
Audio plays a pivotal role in maintaining and improving communication with your stakeholders. Thanks to the commercial success of new audio hardware products, streaming, and voice-commanded technologies, we truly are living in the golden age of audio. Judging by the media attention audio is getting in right now, this era is going to last for more than a while.