Written by Chris Borain ( Head of Digital: United Stations)

AUDIO STREAM – the live stream of radio station programming via the station’s website, iono.fm or other streaming platforms

In 2019, The Infinite Dial report measured online digital audio listening and found that 44% of South Africans listened to radio on a non-radio device*.

In other words, 44% of South Africans streamed their favourite radio station at home as opposed to listening on a traditional terrestrial radio. With the high (88%) smart phone penetration in South Africa, it’s no wonder the mobile phone is the device of choice when it comes to audio streaming. The digital audio audience is also diverse, with a 50/50 gender split and 71% under the age of 54.

Significant is that this research was done before the world turned upside down with the Covid19 pandemic.

2020 proved to be a watershed year for audio streaming in South Africa, with no signs that the trend is slowing down in 2021. United Stations saw its available streaming audience grow by 100% to 1million streams per month across its network of radio stations and websites since the start of the pandemic.

In line with the growth seen in local digital audio, United Stations bolstered its offering by concluding an agreement to be the exclusive local commercial partner for Wondery – the world’s largest independent podcast producer. Wondery’s expertise in maximizing ROI and innovation in digital audio along with the breadth of their South African audience, added another dimension to the US network.

In traditional radio, marketers can only roll out blanket campaigns – with limited ability to target specific demographics. With online streaming however, marketers can now measure and target ads in the audio domain. Combined with a DMP (Data Management Platform), proprietary first party data is used to build a targeted digital audio campaign. To be blunt, for the first time a traditional 30 second radio spot can now be used to target the right audience, at the right time, in the right place.

The obvious benefits advertisers get with the inclusion of digital audio ads in their strategies are stunning engagement and listen-through rates.

Because linear digital audio ads are not easily skippable – digital audio is not subject to the “five second skip” phase of digital video ads –  the brand enjoys the full attention of the audience. Nielsen Media Lab claims audio ads have a 24% higher recall rate than traditional display ads.

In spite of the pandemic, digital advertising grew by 18% in 2020, as opposed to a 27% reduction in the total advertising market. (IAB-SA Internet Advertising Report 2020)

Now is the ideal time to use your brands digital budget to bolster the performance of your traditional radio campaign with a targeted digital campaign.

The best opportunities in targeted digital audio.

United Stations mix of local podcasts, live audio streams and our catch-up radio offering, are now boosted with podcasts from Wondery, the world’s largest independent podcast producer

Our comprehensive network delivers cost-effective, targeted solutions to increase the ROI of any radio advertising campaign.