Generation Audio

January 27, 2023

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Generation Audio

In this week’s egtabite, we take a closer look at Radiocentre UK’s newest research – Generation Audio. This study examines the drivers behind continued growth in the audio landscape – for both listeners and advertisers – identifying the reasons people listen to audio entertainment and understanding the opportunities these present for advertisers. The report is built on two new proprietary research studies conducted on behalf of Radiocentre by independent research agency Differentology. Both studies were conducted with a base of weekly commercial audio listeners, broadly representative in terms of age, gender, social grade, regional breakdown, and additionally profiled against RAJAR MIDAS in terms of commercial audio listening behaviour.

Key takeaways

1) The audio advertising opportunity is bigger than ever

According to RAJAR, 75% of UK adults now listen to commercial audio services for an average of 15 hours every week. Audience growth is driven through improved physical and mental availability of audio, in the form of wider distribution (increased penetration of new devices like mobile and smart speakers) and enhanced relevance of audio in people’s lives (meeting evolving needs).

2) Context-led occasions dominate share of total listening

The study reveals how listening is primarily driven by listener context over content (although it should be noted that they are not mutually exclusive concepts – content naturally plays a vital role in context-led listening choices), with context-driven occasions accounting for over 80% of weekly commercial audio listening time. This provides advertisers with a multitude of opportunities to engage mass audiences at relevant moments and benefit from boosted advertising performance as a result.

3) Need-states thinking can help hone audio planning practices for enhanced effects

Audiences have a wide range of needs that influence their media choices (e.g. being entertained, being informed, etc.). In this study, Audio is revealed now to fulfil seven specific need-states highly effectively. With each offering robust weekly reach and an average listening occasion lasting for 1-2 hours, audio need-states provide advertisers with powerful opportunities to reach critical mass audiences (as frequently as required) with enhanced relevance of messaging.

The six consumer need-states previously identified in Radiocentre’s research in 2014 were rigorously interrogated during the qualitative phase of this new project, which confirmed their continuing relevance and importance to today’s listener. The latest qualitative research has also revealed how audio is now also being used to meet a brand-new need-state: Keep Me Company.

4) Live radio remains the lead audio format, complemented by evolving on demand audio services

Radio leads listening time and delivers the highest reach within six out of the seven audio need-states, underpinning why it remains the most widely listened-to form of audio entertainment at a headline level – and, therefore, continues to play a crucial role for audio advertisers.

5) Audio needs and associated listening behaviour evolve with age

Needs driving listening behaviour/audio choices at a younger age aren’t rigidly maintained over time. As listeners’ lifestyles evolve (e.g. working, home-building), their listening behaviour adapts accordingly. In this context, despite perceived increased competition for share of ear, listening to Live Radio is projected to remain stable for the foreseeable future.

You can find the full study on Radiocentre website here.