Mar 25, 2024

In 2021 Digital Audio Grew Big, What About the Future?

Even if someone has never listened to them, they have surely heard about podcasts. A seemingly strange genre that captivated everyone around the globe. What is the reason behind the success of digital audio, and why does it matter to companies?

digital audio

IAB’s data showed us that Digital Audio (DA) – including podcasts – was the fastest growing media channel in 2021. Digital Video was closely in its heels, but audio won. Are we seeing a second coming of radio, or this is all just a bubble waiting to be burst? Let us find out, why should more companies employ podcasts in their multimedia channels.

Digital Audio by the Numbers

In the US, DA revenues grew by 58% in 2021 to $4.87 billion. This was largely driven by the rising price of mobile advertising, where most people consume podcasts. Digital video is still leading with $39.5 billion revenue after a 51% growth. The leading force behind these events was the unfortunate outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic.

Digital video was a great way to reach audiences stuck at home, who turned towards consuming video content. But why did audio get so popular?

The Popularity of Podcasts

During the era of lockdowns more and more people turned toward podcasts to have something ‘going in the background’. The longer format and ‘chill’ nature of podcasts turned out be complement house chores nicely. Consequently, listening while commuting takes a second place compared to enjoying at home.

But why? Why do people enjoy podcasts so much now, after ‘video killed the radio star’? Well, because not necessarily video, but screens are killing our eyes. Most people do not want to stare at screens after work, especially when they have office jobs. Podcasts not only do not strain our eyes, but they make everyday chores more enjoyable, and help us escape the mundane.

The classical format of television and radio just are just not adequate for current audiences. Most people do not want to wait until ‘X o’clock’ to watch their favourite show, or listen to a radio programme. They want to turn off as soon as they enter their house.

The Worst Possible Outcome for Digital Audio

Advertising on podcasts has its dangers though. If producers and advertisers push it too far, then it will turn into commercial radio 2.0, which would alienate many listeners. Ads – as always – should be elegant and creative, so as not to annoy audiences.

Sources: 1, 2

Tags: digital audio, digital video, marketing, multimedia, podcast, podcasts, PR, public relations, Public Relations Portugal, Public Relations professionals, SayU Consulting