Digital Audio Advertising

Exploring Opportunities in Streaming Audio, Podcasts and Smart Speakers

Executive Summary

US consumers dig digital audio. Whether it’s podcasts or streaming radio and music, the US population is spending more of its time in this digital medium. Naturally, advertisers are following.

How many US consumers listen to various forms of digital audio today?

More than three-quarters of US internet users will listen to digital audio formats like podcasts and streaming music at least once a month this year, according to our April 2019 forecast. Podcast listeners account for a much smaller portion of the US internet population (26.9%), but this audience is growing the fastest. And 30.8% of digital audio listeners will access that content via a smart speaker in 2019.

Where are advertisers putting their digital audio ad dollars today?

Streaming audio, specifically AM/FM radio and pure-play music services such as Spotify and Pandora, are the biggest outlets for brand advertisers today. Podcasts have been the go-to channel for many direct-to-consumer (D2C) brands. And, increasingly, traditional brands are buying into the power of categorical exclusivity and influence that podcast ads provide.

What about smart speakers?

Smart speakers are contributing to the digital audio advertising landscape in two ways. First, as an enabler and accelerant of digital audio consumption. Second, as a future-forward advertising outlet. It’s early days for smart speaker advertising, but many brands are eyeing this arena closely.

WHAT’S IN THIS REPORT? This report explores the current state of digital audio advertising, focusing specifically on streaming audio, podcast and smart speaker advertising opportunities.

KEY STAT: The average US adult will spend more time listening to digital audio than listening to radio in 2020 (a difference of 4.4 minutes).

Here’s what’s in the full report


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Table of Contents

  1. Executive Summary
  2. The State of Digital Audio
  3. Streaming Audio Advertising
  4. Podcast Advertising
  1. Smart Speaker Advertising
  2. Key Takeaways
  3. eMarketer Interviews
  4. Read Next
  1. Sources
  2. Media Gallery

Interviewed for This Report

Greg Anderson
Managing Director
Interviewed June 28, 2019
Sid Bhatia
Product Marketing Manager
Interviewed June 27, 2019
Erica Farber
Radio Advertising Bureau (RAB)
President and CEO
Interviewed June 26, 2019
Gina Garrubbo
National Public Media
President and CEO
Interviewed June 28, 2019
Zuzanna Gierlinska
Head of Automation, EMEA
Interviewed July 3, 2019
Dan Granger
Oxford Road
CEO and Founder
Interviewed June 27, 2019
Suzanne Grimes
Cumulus Media
Westwood One President and Executive Vice President, Marketing
Interviewed June 27, 2019
David Gunzerath
Media Rating Council (MRC)
Senior Vice President and Associate Director
Interviewed June 27, 2019
George Ivie
Media Rating Council (MRC)
CEO and Executive Director
Interviewed June 27, 2019
Kyle Jansen
Senior Director, Growth Marketing
Interviewed July 10, 2019
Catalina Lee
Director, Marketing
Interviewed July 10, 2019
Hernan Lopez
CEO and Founder
Interviewed June 24, 2019
Giles Martin
Executive Vice President, Strategy and Insights
Oxford Road
Interviewed June 27, 2019
Bryan Moffett
National Public Media
Chief Operating Officer
Interviewed June 28, 2019
Isabel Rafferty
Canela Media
CEO and Founder
Interviewed July 15, 2019
Buck Robinson
The Media Manager
Partner, Chief Radio Strategist
Interviewed June 25, 2019
John Rosso
Triton Digital
President, Market Development
Interviewed June 27, 2019
Alex Shear
Director, Customer Acquisition
Interviewed July 12, 2019
Alexis van de Wyer
President and CEO
Interviewed June 24, 2019
Frans Vermeulen
Tru Optik
Chief Operating Officer
Interviewed June 28, 2019
Sydney Waldron
Director, Marketing
Interviewed July 10, 2019
Scott Walker
Senior Vice President, Ad Strategy
Interviewed July 3, 2019

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Lauren Fisher


Jasmine Enberg
Senior Analyst
Lucy Koch
Junior Analyst
Andrew Lipsman
Principal Analyst
Chuck Rawlings
Tracy Tang
Senior Researcher

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