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What the IAB Wants Ad Buyers to Know About Digital Audio

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When was the last time you listened to an internet radio station or a podcast?

If you said “recently,” then chances are you’re an 18- to 34-year-old smartphone streamer, at least according to the Interactive Advertising Bureau’s new Digital Audio Buyer’s Guide, which was released today.

In a blog post, Jennifer Lane, the IAB’s industry initiatives lead for audio, cited an Edison report from earlier in the year that said about 57 percent of Americans listen to online radio, and 21 percent listen to podcasts.

Audio provides direct access to an already trusting and engaged listener, and about two-thirds of podcast listeners took action as a result of ads in podcasts, according to the IAB.

In September during Advertising Week, Gimlet Media co-founder Matt Lieber pointed out that about 5 percent of podcast audiences skip the ads, a “small minority based on the whole audience,” he noted.

It might not be the sexiest medium, but audio isn’t going anywhere anytime soon, the IAB report concludes. Between digital audio’s “targeting capabilities, innovative creative options, sophisticated buying and reporting tools, and relevant, effective reach with today’s connected consumer,” it’s an important part of anyone’s media mix, the report says.

“With the digital audio landscape continuing to evolve and grow at a record pace, this guide stands as a valuable source of insight, information, and direction for all facets of the industry,” said Scott Liss, vp of connections for iHeartMedia in IAB’s post.

In fact, “pure, terrestrial radio” (or simply: broadcast) still reaches around 93 percent of the population of the United States, Liss told Adweek, and that’s in addition to podcasts and other digital audio. Radio had that same reach in 1972.

“If it was Snapchat who saw this kind of reach, every client would be in secret, clandestine meetings and strategy sessions,” Liss said, adding, “Reach is a huge thing. But what we also focus on, as an industry, is the ROI. With radio, we see more than $6 of value spent for every $1 spent in advertising.”

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