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TransUnion’s Message To Digital TV Buyers: Don’t Forget Streaming Audio.

TransUnion has a message for connected TV buyers that broadcasters and podcasters alike are going to like. The ad tech company is telling marketers in a new report that they should also make streaming audio part of their media mix. “Streaming audio’s addressable targeting capabilities, creative messaging opportunities and expanding listening occasions make it a medium brand advertisers should strongly consider when developing media plans,” it says.

When it comes to content, TransUnion’s newly-released Streaming Media Advertising Guide says digital audio offers everything from 10-second weather forecasts to 10-hour playlists, making it easily fit into consumers’ lives.

“While streaming is replacing traditional TV, it’s reshaping audio by adding new listening occasions and types of content,” it says. “The result is a twofold increase in time spent with online audio over the course of a decade, and a distinctive marketing platform combining the intimacy of radio with the targeting power of digital.”

Following the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, streaming’s share of listening time jumped eight points to 53% in the U.S., surpassing broadcast radio for the first time in Edison Research’s Share of Ear report. But TransUnion says the data shows AM/FM radio is still alive and well.

Broadcast radio listening is down only slightly from its pre-COVID numbers, while ad revenues are up, it notes. The report credits streaming and how it has helped broadcast radio adapt to the digital age.

“An unexpected byproduct of streaming audio is the renaissance in at-home radio listening,” says TransUnion. “Thanks to improved home connectivity and rapid adoption of smart speakers, radio is returning to the home. More than 60% of streaming audio listening occurs at home, including half of mobile device listening.” It also tells marketers that weekday radio listening began to resemble weekend patterns as behaviors evolved in response to lifestyle changes during the pandemic. The report says that with the “where” and “when” of many people’s work rearranged, digital audio has become “the new drive-time radio” and is a “key component of the connected home.” It also notes that streaming audio engagement is strongest among younger consumers most prone to listening on mobile devices, although it notes streaming audio is growing fastest among users age 55 and older.

TransUnion is the owner of TruAudience – what was formally called TruOptik before it was acquired in October 2020 – providing data to advertisers and agencies targeting connected TV viewers. It has also tracked media consumption on smart speakers, gaming consoles and other connected devices, and since TransUnion took over it has been putting more of a focus on digital audio too.

“Like OTT, streaming audio advertising enables precise audience targeting, along with dynamic messaging, in-depth campaign reporting and outcome-based analytics,” its report tells ad buyers. “Streaming audio ads can be bought programmatically or direct. Programmatic is beneficial because it enables consistent targeting and measurement to campaigns running across digital audio publishers while simplifying buying and billing.”

As more marketers face a digital world without the use of cookies, TransUnion says in-app behavior data and household data from smart speakers will help streaming audio make the transition – and keep advertisers onboard.

“It’s well positioned to benefit from digital media trends, such as better connectivity and device innovation like smart speakers and wireless earbuds,” the report says.

Download a copy of TransUnion’s Streaming Media Ad Guide HERE.

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