The fight for our digital listening hours has begun

The fight for our digital listening hours has begun

Mediatel’s ‘The Future of Audio’ conference has seen several brands stake a claim in the digital audio future.

66% of the UK’s population now listen to audio via a digitally connected device, throughout the week and as the way consumers listen to audio evolves, it opens up opportunities for growth and competition, within audio advertising.

Spotify looks to take on traditional in-car live radio

Spotify has announced plans to launch driving playlists and increase investment in podcasts in a move to demonstrate they are ‘absolutely focused’ on growing their share of in-car listening.

Currently, the most common type of in-car audio consumption is via FM/AM or DAB live radio. Only 8% of those surveyed in Ofcom’s Media Nations 2019 report listen to music via a streaming service, and only 4% listen to podcasts.

However as in-car media systems such as Apple Carplay and smart voice assistants such as Siri and Bixby improve, it will be even easier for consumers to listen to their own music and podcasts in-car.

Bauer to build on digital growth

Another brand to embrace digital growth is Bauer Media. Their digital station, KISSTORY, is now the largest digital radio station in the UK with over 14 million users. 2019 has also seen successful debuts from Country Hits Radio and Scala Radio.

Chief Revenue Officer for Bauer Media, Simon Kilby, outlined how the current trend of in podcasting, DAB, and the rise of online listening matched growth in connected cars, 5G and smart speakers.

Commercial radio is in its fifth consecutive year of growth and captures 36m listeners each week in the UK and since 2015, there has been a 23% increase in audio hours consumed in the UK (Rajar).

Kilby said this was further evidence that the digital age was not negatively disrupting the sector.

Neither, he added, were new entrants such as Apple Music and Spotify, which he viewed as “complementary to the ecosystem.”

However, the growth in connectivity is not without future threats. Smart speaker owners such as Apple and Google may look to branch out in later years, with some experts Mediatel News spoke with suggest US tech giants might turn into “gatekeepers” for UK radio content, ushering in a new wave of competition.

Is your brand ready for changes in the way consumers listen to audio? Get in touch today to see how our team can recommend the best way to reach your audience via audio.

Further Reading;

Sources; https://mediatel.co.uk/newsline/2019/10/16/bauer-outlines-plans-for-radios-internet-enabled-future/, https://mediatel.co.uk/newsline/2019/10/14/why-digital-is-transforming-the-audio-landscape/, https://mediatel.co.uk/newsline/2019/10/16/spotifys-plans-to-take-ownership-of-in-car-audio/