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To Media Buyers, It’s All Just Audio. And It’s ‘Having A Resurgence.’

Content creators may see AM/FM radio, streaming audio and podcasts as distinctly different mediums. But to media buyers they’re often lumped together as audio and bought as part of a marketing campaign.

Diana Anderson, Senior VP, Group Director, National Audio and Local Digital Activation of ad agency Carat says her clients are eager to buy audio in all of its incarnations.

“Audio – even AM/FM radio – is having a resurgence,” she tells Beet.TV, which provides informational videos for the media and advertising communities. “Our big brands are really leaning into using audio, terrestrial and streaming and podcasting – brands like P&G and Home Depot.”

Both clients are among radio’s largest advertisers but they’re not confining their audio marketing to just AM/FM. “When we look at AM/FM radio, streaming, and podcasting all working together, they’re complementary and really shouldn’t necessarily be standalone,” says Anderson.

Even before the pandemic changed how Americans consume audio, the listening landscape was already changing with about 10% of broadcast radio consumption taking place on digital platforms. “Terrestrial audio used to really be the most dominant form of audio that people were listening to. It still is, but the level, how much they’re dominating, has definitely changed,” she says.

During the course of the pandemic, the amount of listening to radio on digital devices expanded “as people are looking to find their favorite DJs while they’re working from home, or they’re looking for news,” Anderson observes in the Beet.TV interview.

Nowadays, Carat may use AM/FM for its massive reach and efficient price, digital audio for incremental reach, more precise targeting and real-time metrics and podcasting as a branding and connection opportunity, even if it offers limited scale.

Anderson says her agency is ahead of the curve when it comes to buying advertising programmatically. Roughly one in every four dollars it spends is done by using automated buying tools. And she is part of the growing number of media buyers that are moving away from buying based on traditional age/gender demographics and instead relying on audience segments, like auto intenders or soccer moms

“Most clients are asking to, at minimum, use third-party audiences to reach the target,” she adds. “And more and more clients want to use their own first-party data in order to target audiences. A buy that’s done that’s using digital audio strictly for reach may just rely on demo(graphics), but most even those clients are moving to add at least a mixture of some demo targeting with advanced targeting tactics with it.” Watch the video interview HERE.

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