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The power of sound: introducing The Drum’s Audio Deep Dive


By Chris Sutcliffe | Senior reporter

August 15, 2022 | 4 min read

Welcome to The Drum’s Audio Deep Dive. In this week-long exploration of everything audio, we’ll be looking at the most powerful uses of audio for marketing and entertainment.

A waveform in many colours representing the breadth of audio opportunities for brands and marketers

The Drum's audio deep dive is now live

Audiences spend a third of their total time with media with audio content, while the vast majority of audio listenership growth is coming from mobile devices. That has created a huge opportunity for brands to speak directly to consumers on the platforms where they’re most engaged.

Whether it’s with a host-read ad in a podcast or taking advantage of the UGC in music-based apps like TikTok, the marketing industry is going all-in on audio. Small wonder when the sky-high amounts spent by audio platforms like Spotify on exclusive content and the rapid development of adtech related to audio metrics have set the agenda for the marketing industry.

It’s understandable then that the IAB has reported that digital audio advertising grew by 57.9% to $4.9bn in 2021. That represents the highest year-on-year growth within the sectors it covered. Spotify, meanwhile, expects its own advertising revenue to reach $10bn in the near future.

There’s also a lot of headroom – roughly a quarter of US consumers are podcast listeners and the US accounts for far and away the most podcast listening. That provides a lot of scope for revenue growth, especially given the power of podcasting adtech in 2022.

At the same time, we’ve seen a reappraisal of what audio advertising can be. Consumer-driven trends around ASMR, binaural soundscapes and even carefully considered silence are all part of a marketer’s toolkit when it comes to creating a narrative in audio. Marry this new breed of creative with the increased time and ad budgets spent on audio platforms and you’ll get a sense of why audio is so vital and vibrant in 2022.

In this Audio Deep Dive, we’ll examine the past, present and future of audio marketing. From explorations of the current state of commercial radio, through the reasons why podcasting is investing in diversity, to the growth of social audio, we’ll provide a holistic look at audio for marketers.

Our journalists will examine how brands are using sonic branding effectively and how the need to create instantly recognizable audio branding now spans a far greater number of platforms, each with its own specifications and foibles. They’ll be taking a look at how the audio NFT space has evolved and whether musicians are reaping the benefit of audio creation using web3.

We’ll also hear how some of the biggest podcast providers and some of the individual podcasters themselves are seeking to diversify their revenue beyond audio with live events and merch.

For more on the power of sound, check out The Drum’s Audio Deep Dive hub.

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