Pandora Definitive Guide to Audio collects expert insights on building audio identity for brands

Pandora has released its Definitive Guide to Audio. The annual exploration of audio offers a broad snapshot of audio’s value in marketing moving into 2020, as well as promoting Pandora’s own opportunities for audio advertising.

The company said that the public’s growing interest in audio is accompanied by science that supports its power to connect with audiences. “Sound is interesting because it’s an evolutionary thing,” said Pranav Yadav, CEO of marketing research operation Neuro-Insight U.S. “We have trained ourselves to listen for distinct sounds ever since we were hunter-gatherers. You can pick out ‘signal’ from ‘noise’ in ways that your visual cortex doesn’t really allow.”

“We totally recommend that our clients always have an audio strategy because audio is ubiquitous,” said Jennifer Hungerbuhler, EVP managing direct of local audio and video investment at Amplifi. “Audio truly touches everything; it’s mobile, personal, social, interactive, engaging, emotional, live. But more importantly, as podcasts, speakers, smart devices and connected cars continue to grow, our clients need to understand how sound and voice can work for their brands.”

Pandora cited statistics from Veritonic about the power of audio advertising. Compared with standard creative, dynamic audio on Pandora led to a 125% lift in purchase intent and 13% lift in aided recall. Those rates were even stronger for ages 18-34, where purchase intent lift rose 133% and aided recall lift grew 43%.

Hungerbuhler also encouraged brands to work with the distinct traits and benefits of different audio formats. “What we typically do is use broadcast radio when we’re looking to deliver high reach at an efficient price, and use digital audio when we’re looking to drive engagement, action or advocacies,” she said.

The report also explored some of the likely trends that would continue to shape audio advertising in 2020. Those include the growing impact of artificial intelligence and voice controls, alongside concerns about protecting personal data. Another trend is targeting by mood or emotion rather than demographic data, a reflection of how many streaming services built their playlist programming.

“We’re shifting the way we target, and targeting by music environment is one great example,” said Josep Hernandez, senior director of media and total connections planning for PepsiCo. “Instead of targeting demographics, we target passion points, which deliver greater reach, better engagement opportunities, and a better opportunity for them to adopt content.”

Anna Washenko