What is audio advertising?

Audio advertising is the method of advertising using audio-based ads inserted in AM/FM radio, satellite radio, digital or streaming radio, and podcasts. The audio advertising category is experiencing a steep increase in overall media spend and the forecast shows continued growth as consumer consumption grows.

US adults spend a fifth of their daily digital media time with digital audio.
The overall adult population will spend an average of 1 hour and 43 minutes (1:43) per day listening to digital audio this year.*

Radio and digital audio services ad spending are projected to reach approximately $20B by 2027**.

Types of Audio Advertisements

Radio Advertisements

AM/FM advertising is a critical channel for advertisers to use for a number of reasons but some of the most important are efficiency, unduplicated reach, and high ROI.

Read More: Radio Advertising Types and Examples

Podcast Advertisements

Podcast advertising is the ability for brands to pay for placement of their advertising within various podcast shows.  Podcast ads can be bought directly from podcast show hosts or programmatically using an audience-based buying approach.

Read More: Podcast Advertising Types & Examples

Streaming Audio Advertisements

Streaming audio ads are inserted into content on streaming platforms like Spotify, Pandora, iHeart, SXM and many others. These ads can be audio only or also include companion banners or video.

Read More: How to Advertise on Spotify   

Sonic Branding

While sonic branding is not a traditional type of audio ad, it is the practice of branding using a single, simple jingle, voice, or logo that represents your brand.

Read More: How To Build Your Sonic Brand With Podcast Advertising

Advantages of Audio Advertisements

When considering using audio advertising as a part of your media mix, it is important to factor in these unique advantages that the channel offers marketers.

Increased brand awareness

Audio, whether it be podcasts, streaming music, or terrestrial radio are some of the most personal and captivating forms of media.  These channels reflect “me time” for most users.  Brands that want to establish greater awareness and recognition use both pre-produced and live-read ads to accomplish their goals. 

As a result of hearing a podcast ad, 74% of an Edison Research survey’s respondents said that they visited a brand’s website and 72% said they would consider trying a brand new product.****

Better reach

In 2022, digital audio had 300,000 more monthly adult listeners than traditional TV had monthly adult viewers. This was the first time digital audio superseded TV among adults, and the gap will widen in 2023. But TV still has a slight lead among the entire population (including those ages 0 to 17).*

Even more impressive is the fact that podcasts are gaining new listeners even faster than digital audio overall. In 2023, the total US podcast audience will rise by 4.6% (5.7 million people), while general US digital audio listeners will grow 1.4%. We expect podcast listenership to surpass 150 million by 2027.*

Improved audience targeting

With programmatic advertising on the rise with all forms of audio advertising, the audience targeting is now comparable - and sometimes better - than digital advertising.  Advertisers are able to target using demographics, affinities, contextual relevance, geography and behavioral data.  Building audiences for each type of platform can be highly custom for the environment.

Powerful personal endorsements

Some of the most powerful audio ads are those that are host-read ads.  Podcast hosts, radio show hosts and DJs are some of the most trusted personalities in media who can deliver personalized brand and product endorsements with credibility and authenticity.  

Audio advertising success stories

FanDuel | Terrestrial & Satellite Radio

FanDuel partnered with ARM to increase outreach and audio performance through cost-effective advertising across various audio platforms during the Super Bowl while competing against other Tier 1 ad markets. 

Read More: Fanduel Case Study

Molson Coors | Podcast Advertising

As the Molson Coors Beverage Company looked to recruit new drinkers, they knew they needed to diversify their channel mix, find ways to break through the advertising clutter and continue to build a brand that people care about.

Read More: Molson Coors Case Study

Audio Advertising Trends in 2023

Improved measurement

“The way we track success continues to improve and is crucial to bringing more dollars into the audio space. Audio as a channel combines the online and offline worlds, so there’s a constant effort to make sure full value is captured. I've been very excited to see increasingly sophisticated movement in this area and can only imagine it will improve further.” Mike Kropko, Co-CEO, Ad Results Media

Continued growth and scale of audiences

    • US Digital Audio Listeners to reach 236.5B by 2027 (68% of US pop)***
    • Spotify, iHeartRadio, and Apple have emerged as the dominant audio-first platforms for podcasting, with 36.7 million, 30.4 million, and 28.6 million projected listeners in 2023*
    • This year, the overall US population will increase its time spent with podcasts by 11.1%—to reach 25 minutes per day—and active listeners will increase their time by 6.9%, to reach a robust 57 minutes per day.*
    • For all the hype surrounding TikTok, it was only last year that its users equaled the amount of time Spotify’s users spent on Spotify. The two platforms will be tied again this year, at 56 minutes per day. Instagram (0:31), Snapchat (0:31), Facebook (0:30), and Reddit (0:24) will trail by a wide margin.*

Uptick in programmatic podcast buying

Programmatic podcast buying is predicted to be 10% of all podcast buying by 2024

“According to Ad Results Media’s VP of Media, Gretchen Smith, “Securing actual contextual relevance through digital programmatic ads can be challenging.  While some of the challenges can be addressed using DCO, I believe that it still falls short of the contextual alignment we can achieve through programmatic podcast ads. The organic nature of the conversations that occur on podcasts is the perfect environment to authentically insert topical ads or products”.

Read More: Innovating the next-gen approach to audio advertising


The opportunities for marketers to increase their overall effectiveness through the strategic incorporation of additional audio channels into their media mix are endless. The experts at Ad Results Media are here to help you navigate this rapidly evolving landscape and generate measurable business results.


*eMarketer US Digital Audio Forecast Overview 2023

**eMarketer, March 2023

***eMarketer, February 2023

****Edison SuperListeners Report, 2021