Turn up the volume: Brands, are you listening to audio trends?

  • Nadir Kanthawala- Regional Manager, Business Development, WATConsult writes about increasing audio consumption and how brands can benefit from it.
  • He shares different ways of integrating audio marketing into digital strategy.

After spending over a decade in video production and working with various production houses and channels before moving into digital marketing at WATConsult, I have observed changes in the digital audio industry. But once a producer, still a producer, so this time around my production skills were geared towards a different medium – long-form audio content (LFAC).

Two years ago I started working on a parenting podcast called “Pops in a Pod” with a friend and another dad. Although at an incipient stage, thanks to containment, it has ushered in a whole new wave of LFAC diffusion that we cannot ignore. LFAC is here to stay and brands must listen. After producing 90 episodes, here’s how we realized the power of this medium and the potential it holds for brands to increase their reach.

New format

Podcasting in India is nearly five years old and according to KPMG’s Media and Entertainment Report 2020, India is the third-largest consumer of podcasts (after the United States and China), with 57.6 million listeners per month. This number will only increase. We are also seeing an increase in audio-only social platforms such as Clubhouse, Greenroom, Twitter Spaces and Facebook, which will soon be launching Live Audio Rooms. Brands must make their associations with creators and now that later.

Ease of production

When we think of dynamic content, our mind automatically turns to video content. It’s high time we saw audio as dynamic content as well. Compared to video, it’s cheaper, faster, and easier to produce and in return you don’t get 30 or 60 second video output; but an in-depth conversation on a given topic lasting at least 30 minutes on average. With platforms like Clubhouse and Greenroom, it’s even easier because no elaborate setup is required.

Longer engagement

Whether it’s likes, shares, comments, or average viewing time, they pale in front of LFAC, especially podcasts. According to industry experts, podcasts can provide between 16 and 18 minutes of average listening time, depending on the topic of the conversation. Over the past year, at WATConsult, we have also produced two branded podcasts for SAP and India First Insurance to educate their internal and external audiences about their products and services.

New niches, new audiences

Long-form audio content opens doors to genres in India like heavy metal music, parenthood from a father’s point of view, LGBTQIA + communities, national politics, and even multi-format news. And for this reason, brands can expect to engage with new audiences, especially young people. According to the Spotify Culture Next Report 2021, 83% of Millennials and 70% of Gen Z in India believe that streaming platforms in general, including audio, have dramatically shaped the way they experience and connect with a culture. wider.

Language no barrier

100% year-over-year growth in Hindi podcasts on Anchor, as shown in the Spotify-YouGov report. This is further validated by industry experts, representing various platforms, who bet on regional languages, viz. Hindi, Punjabi, Tamil, Marathi and Bengali. Considering the ease with which audio can be distributed, the potential penetration into many other corners of India is now within reach, whether through podcasts or audio social apps.


Listening to audio is a ‘phone down’ experience. What that means, you could be working, exercising, driving, walking, doing calculations, doing housework or even taking a shower, but you would still be plugged in and listening to your favorite LFAC without looking at your phone again. More engagement, less distraction.

Transparent advertising

According to Spotify Culture Next Report 2021, 69% of Indian millennials said they love audio advertising because they can use their imaginations to imagine everything in their head. Advertising in the form of long audio content is not only transparent, but the chances of retention are much higher, especially if it is mentioned by the hosts themselves.

According to reports from the Spotify-YouGov survey, 18-24 year olds made up the largest audience of those who first listened to a podcast on Spotify in 2020. If that’s not reason enough for brands are jumping on the long-running audio train, so I don’t know what it is.

Its time stamps include long-form audio content as part of their marketing plan. The possibility of delivering differentiated content is endless, the question is how long will it take them to take the first step.

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