June 23, 2021

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The Future of Audio in 2021 and Beyond

The Future of Audio in 2021 and Beyond 1

One certain lesson from 2020 for everyone was that no one could predict the future. Although everyone is hoping that the new year is going to be better than the last, one thing we can certainly see coming, and that’s the growth of the audio industry. With the vaccine for the virus slowly being rolled out, countries around the world will start opening back up, which means there will be more people commuting to work and shopping in retail stores.

According to a study before the end of the year, the radio’s weekly reach was 97% compared to what it was right before the pandemic started. Additionally, radio also had an increase in listenership during the brief period in the fall when people were temporarily back to work. This means that with people starting to go back to work, radio is once again going to become a lot more popular with many audiences.

That means marketers and media planners should have already recognized that the behavior of radio listeners is almost back to the same levels it was before the pandemic, but also know that there is an opportunity to invest in some radio endorsements and promotion in their marketing campaigns because they are an essential growth tool for many businesses.

It’s obvious that 2020 was the perfect year for podcast growth, and the next step in this industry is for brands to realize that podcasts and their hosts aren’t as a niche with their reach as they seem to be, how big of an audience a podcast can have, and how many audiences across a wide variety of social platforms a single podcast is able to reach. Podcast hosts are starting to become influencers in their own right, as they have their own target audiences and are able to authentically engage with their listeners.

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Additionally, more and more notable people and influencers are going to be launching their own podcasts in an attempt to connect with their audiences in an authentic way, gain a bigger reach, and even connect with more people.

That’s also why streaming platforms such as Spotify, Amazon, Apple, and others are going to look into acquiring podcasts or top talent in their own battle of the platform that can get the most attention and people’s ears. With Spotify getting serious in its podcasts efforts by acquiring some popular podcasts and finding an efficient way to monetize this content properly, all other streaming platforms are guaranteed to join in on the competition.

Finally, one last thing that’s certain for the coming months is the fact that ad spends on podcasts is definitely going to exceed the $1 billion mark, considering its steady exponential increase in the past several months alone. According to a study, the end of 2020 saw nearly $800 million spent on ads for podcasts, and predictions are stating that the number is going to jump quite high in just a few months.