Streaming Audio Advertising: Benefits and Trends


Back in the day - we’re talking 2001 or 2002 - were you one of the millions who deserted traditional radio programming and instead embraced the new phenomenon of satellite radio? Were you Team Sirius Radio or Team XM Radio? 

Regardless of your allegiance, the choice to consume audio content from somewhere other than broadcast radio helped spark the future of streaming audio, a movement that has transformed how audio content is delivered. 

What started as listening to audio programming using satellites and radio transmitters has become streaming content over the Internet anytime, anywhere, and virtually any device.

Streaming audio gaining steam 

While listeners can still tune into their favorite local radio shows for music, news, or talk radio, the popularity of streaming audio has exploded. How significantly is streaming audio dominating the way we consume audio content? Here are a few interesting statistics: 


  • There are now 90 million or 17.6 percent more subscribers to music streaming services compared to 2022. 
  • About 78 percent of people listen to music via streaming services. 
  • The music streaming industry has more than 616 million users around the world. 
  • Music streaming generates almost $17 billion in revenue per year. And $36.34 billion in revenue is the music streaming estimate for 2026. 
  • Almost 30 percent of all music engagement  is streamed. About 2.74 trillion songs were streamed globally in 2021. 
  • Ad-supported music streaming brings around $5 billion - similar revenue to physical sales. 

 These are all significant numbers and help tell the story of streaming audio. But as a marketing agency, that last nugget of information related to advertising revenue piques our interest. And, as a business owner looking for new and effective marketing tactics to reach potential customers, it should get your attention, too.  

This is the first of two blogs that will discuss the rise in streaming audio advertising and how it could be an effective part of your company’s overall marketing plan. Blog 1 will focus on the benefits of streaming audio ads, while Blog 2 will look at future trends. 

Digital audio advertising on the rise 

With millions of listeners streaming audio content, advertisers and marketers have noticed. More and more are recognizing the opportunity to reach potential customers with brand messaging.  

On August 28, 1922, New York Radio Station aired the first-ever radio commercial. Since then, audio advertisement has become synonymous with live radio. But with more listeners engaging with audio content in the form of music streaming, podcasts, digital radio, and in-game audio, the digital age is starting to dominate audio advertising. 

Traditional radio is still outpacing digital audio in audience, reaching about 217 million to digital audio’s 169 million in 2021. But according to Statista’s Advertising & Media Outlook, the two mediums will compete neck and neck in the next three years.  

Digital audio advertising spending is rising, projected to reach nearly $8 billion by 2025, accounting for more than 40 percent of all audio ad buys.  

The number of Americans streaming audio content has more than doubled since 2012. Digital audio advertising grew by 57.5 percent in 2021, and ad spend is forecast to reach $8.95 billion in 2023. It’s now the fastest-growing advertising format, and innovative brands are starting to introduce audio ads as part of their overall marketing strategies.  

Types of Audio Advertising  

There are various types of audio advertising, and all differ based on the audience persona and how they will engage with the message. Let’s take a look at the most common types.  


Podcast Ads  

Podcasts have grown in popularity year after year for a while. The U.S. podcast audience alone eclipsed 117.8 million in 2021, a 10 percent increase compared to 2020.  


But here’s what you should know – 55 percent of people say they’ve bought a product after hearing about it on a podcast. This makes podcasts a powerful advertising platform for marketers wanting to increase their brand awareness.  


Another thing to consider is that there are so many podcasts out there. Name a topic and there are probably at least a few podcasts that discuss it. That means you can target niche audiences with your advertising rather than a larger audience who may have no interest in your industry. 

Streaming Audio Ads  

Music plays an enormous role in our society. Art and music are essential human functions that stimulate the mind and transform society.  

Over half the U.S. population reports listening to music daily. From a global perspective, 18 hours of music is heard weekly across various platforms.  

One benefit of streaming platforms such as Spotify and Pandora is that they gather user data that allows brands to insert targeted messaging into users’ playlists. This makes audio ads more targeted and more likely to convert than the one-to-many approach of traditional radio ads.  

Voice-activated Ads  

The rise of smart speaker usage has opened the door to the possibility of voice-activated ads that allow listeners to make purchases hands-free — even while cooking or driving. This takes the potential of an audio ad platform beyond brand awareness and provides the opportunity to convert in real time.  

Would Audio Advertising Benefit Your Business? 

Now that we’ve looked at some hype surrounding audio advertising, the next consideration should be whether it is worth incorporating into your business’s overall marketing plan.  


Here are three reasons why programmatic audio advertising can be effective for many companies.  


1. Audio advertising is audience-targeted  


Audio advertisements allow you to target users based on location, behavior, and demographic. This allows two people in the same area to get different ads, and brands can reach their target more easily.  


2. Audio advertising allows data tracking  


Programmatic audio ads allow advertisers to collect data on key metrics, like completion rate — whether a user listens to an advertisement to the end or skips past it. The ability to track your audience’s behaviors and engagement with your ad – and post-ad consumption – is invaluable when planning ad campaigns. 

3. Audio advertising improves brand recall  


According to Nielsen, audio ads have 24 percent more recall compared to display ads, and 61 percent of podcast users were more likely to purchase after hearing audio ads for well-known national brands.  




These are three reasons you should consider implementing audio advertising in your overall marketing plan. To know for sure, there are plenty of variables to consider, like your target audience, marketing goals, what your competition is doing, and other factors. These considerations, and others, should be analyzed by a professional marketing agency using a Marketing Communications (MARCOM) plan. 


An audio-based campaign could be a highly efficient and cost-effective way to spread your message. From increasing brand recognition to targeting larger audiences, there are benefits. If you’re interested in learning whether audio advertising suits your business, contact us to start the conversation.