Jun 1, 2022

Immersive Podcasting Is Here To Stay

By Richard Williams, Commercial Director at A Million Ads

We have seen podcasts soar in popularity over the last few years, notably as a result of the pandemic. In fact, the IAB predicts podcast ad revenue will top $2 billion this year and hit more than $4 billion by 2024. Podcasting surely is here to stay and it’s not a trend to pass you by.

Audio, and in particular, podcasts, have proven to be one of the most trusted mediums for consumers, according to a recent study by Audacy, revealing that 69% trust audio more than any other medium. Listeners use podcasts as a form of escapism and to unwind from the stress of their daily lives, whether it be on their morning jog to start off the day or to switch off when they get home from work. 

To delve further into this, recent research by iHeartMedia revealed how listeners relate to radio and podcast hosts, as well as why they got into podcasts in the first place. Notably, the research revealed that 71% of listeners stated that they tune in to podcasts to learn something new. This is evident as genres such as true crime and history have soared in popularity. It’s clear to see that podcasts are so much more than just background noise and that listeners crave meaningful connections now more than ever and are now much more engaged listeners. So how can brands capitalise on this? Enter immersive podcast ads.

Immersive podcast ads differ from regular podcast ads in that special technology is used to create 3D sound effects to replicate the environment for the listener. For example, if the ad was for a car, the background noise would mimic real life by moving around you, making it sound as if a car is actually driving past. Not only does this take their storytelling to the next level, this gives brands the chance to be in the moment with listeners, creating that all-important emotional connection and sense of trust.

3D sound recording involves using a binaural head or editing software to make the music and special effects (SFX) sound as if the audio is 3D, travelling from ear to ear using spatial elements. This presents an even greater opportunity for brands as they can add in additional benefits such as dynamic audio to immerse listeners in a way that connects with their individual context as well.

As an example, we worked with Benadryl using 3D dynamic audio. The campaign used 3D audio technology, as well as date and time, weather and location to find the real time pollen data in the listener’s area. This data enabled us to recommend the correct type of relief for the listener, directing them to their local Tesco store. In total 112,218 ad variants were created, tapping into contextual consumer touch points, whether the listener was  heading to a festival or a football match.

Dynamic host-read ads are also a great way to take your storytelling to the next level and better connect with listeners. An example of this is our work with HSBC and Acast, where we ran geo-targeted and personalised host reads across some of Acast’s most established podcasts – Table Manners, Dan Snow’s History Hit and Football Ramble. 

The campaign tapped into the location of the listener as well as other contextual data points. This was to deliver a truly localised feel depending on the area where the user was listening, which led to HSBC seeing an 18% increase in brand recall. This shows that a more personal advertising medium like audio can be improved drastically by adding in dynamic elements or 3D technology to connect on an even deeper level.

Podcasts have now become an essential part of consumers’ every day lives and this trend clearly isn’t going to slow down anytime soon. In order to truly connect and build a trusting relationship with podcast listeners, brands need to make sure they tailor their ads to the context of the podcast and level up their audio technology to create a unique and meaningful experience. It’s time to jump on board the immersive podcast ads bandwagon.

Want to know more about our work or request a demo? Get in touch with the team below.

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