Agency giant Dentsu study: Audio ads drive attention better than other platforms

Leading ad agency dentsu (lower-case “d” intentional) partnered with Amazon Ads, Audacy, Cumulus Media, iHeartMedia, Spotify and SXM Media to measure consumer attention in audio advertising. This work is part of a broad, five-year-old Attention Economy project, and the first time audio has been studied within it.

The takeaway headline is that audio advertising drives “significant attention” compared to other ad platforms. Specifically, dentsu’s summary makes these points:

  • Average attentive seconds per (000) APM for audio advertising was 10,126 compared to dentsu norms of 6,501 APM
  • On average, 41% of audio ads generated correct brand recall (vs. 38% of dentsu norms)
  • Brand choice uplift for audio ads was 10% (vs. 6% for dentsu norms)

Audio advertising is a multi-platform proposition, of course, and dentsu breaks out three of them in the following ranking:

  • Podcasts (measured across Audacy, Cumulus Media, iHeartMedia, Spotify and SXM Media) drove the highest attentive seconds per thousand impressions compared to other digital, social and TV benchmarks. In addition, we saw that brand choice uplift was higher for host reads compared to traditional audio ads within podcasts.
  • Radio (measured across Audacy, Cumulus Media and iHeartMedia) also impressively drove higher attentive seconds per thousand impressions compared to other digital, social and TV benchmarks. Radio shined as the most efficient of the audio formats studied, proving to be 10x more efficient when compared to the average online video ads measured through dentsu’s Attention Economy.
  • Music Streaming (measured on Amazon Music across voice with Alexa and on mobile or desktop) drove key branding metrics. Brand recall was highest for ad-supported streaming music played on Alexa-enabled devices and drove even higher brand choice uplift for :30 ads compared to those same ads listened to through a desktop/mobile device.

Note that in podcast advertising, host-read ads create more uplift than traditional ads within podcasts.

”We understand that radio advertising is a cost-efficient way to build reach, that podcast listeners have great affinity not only to the programming but also podcast hosts, and that smart speakers are a compelling new destination for audio ads on streaming services. It’s nice to see each of these unique strengths of different audio formats validated by our audio Attention Economy Study,” said Jennifer Hungerbuhler, RAIN Summit speaker and EVP, Local and Audio Investment Lead, dentsu Media US.

Brad Hill