Leading Local Insights Podcast: The Rise of Audio in the Local Ad Market

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Idil Cakim, SVP Research & Insights, Audacy

Recent neurological research buttressed by follow-on survey research reveals audio is a highly engaged media platform to create human connections and communities. Results reveal that audio across Radio OTA and Digital is trusted and heavily used. Yet, there is a disconnect between the importance of audio to audiences and the spending levels of marketers and agencies.

Speaking to this disconnect, Audacy’s Idil Cakim is SVP Research and Insights and brings to her role deep experience across research, data, analytics and marketing drawing from tours at Nielsen, ad agency Golin, and social media insights advisory firm NM Incite, a Nielsen-McKinsey joint venture.

Cakim sat down with BIA for an episode of our Leading Local Insights podcast series discussing the rise of audio in the local ad market. She sums up her experience by saying at the end of the day the way to use media most effectively is to, “ask smart questions, use good analysts and have good quality data – in that order.”

BIA forecasts the local audio ad market will reach $12.7 billion in 2022 of which 86 percent will go to Radio OTA and 14 percent to Radio Digital platforms. “Radio Digital” includes includes local advertising sold by local stations (streaming and website advertisements) and pure play streaming services. The digital side is the fastest growing part of audio due to its unique connections with the audiences and the ability to target, assess and optimize campaign activations.

Source: 2022 BIA Local Advertising Forecast, Sept. 2021

The local audio ad market is heating up on the digital side which leads radio groups to expand their market opportunities by bringing integrated audio platforms into their clients’ marketing mix combining Radio OTA with digital offerings including podcasting and streaming. Cakim shares that based on new neurological research Audacy developed in partnership with with Immersion and Alter Agents a key finding was that audio drove high engagement and trust levels compared to other media like video and social.

Audio drives more engaged impressions that deliver efficient premiums for advertisers in terms of return on ad spend. Cakim sees these data as supporting the conclusion that audio should have an increased weight in media mixes.

Cakim noted the high value of local that she saw in the research. Local content and local hosts with their familiar content and voices engender a lot of audience trust and that extends to the brands advertising around local content. She said is was, “actually eye opening to see the factor be the lead. They know my city, problems and live where I do.”

While video, including OTT, cord-cutting, and the explosion of streaming services are certainly headline-grabbing topics, the rise of audio in the local ad market particularly on the digital is undeniable.

To learn more about research on audio in the local market, Cakim invites those interested to check out Audacy’s Insights page where content gets posted regularly.

Listen to the full podcast, The Rise of Audio in the Local Ad Market.

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