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Audio advertising: How audience buying is helping brands connect with their target market

by Justin Ohanessian

July 18, 2023

In today's digital landscape, audio advertising has carved out its niche as a powerful and influential medium to connect with audiences. Through audio advertising, brands can access a remarkable tool known as audience buying, a game-changer that empowers marketers to precisely target the perfect audiences for their brands.

According to a recent study by Insider Intelligence, digital audio consumption is highly prevalent in the US. In 2022, 74.5% of US internet users, equivalent to 222.7 million people, listened to digital audio, with over half of them using smartphones as their preferred audio devices. Industry experts predict that by 2026, an impressive 193.3 million people, representing 55.8% of the population, will listen to audio on smartphones each month. The audio revolution is on the rise.

Advertisers find themselves at the forefront of a remarkable opportunity to forge personal and intimate connections with consumers in the era of podcasts, music streaming services, and a bustling digital audio scene. So let's explore the significance of audience buying in audio advertising, how it can revolutionize how brands connect with their target audience, and why it is a game-changer for marketers.

What is audience buying?

Audience buying involves leveraging consumer data to purchase precise audience segments for targeted marketing. Gone are the days of marketers casting a wide net and hoping for the best; with audience buying, you can engage directly with specific audiences based on nuanced factors like consumer behavior, preferences, and demographics with unparalleled precision. It's like having a finely-tuned compass guiding you toward the individuals most likely to be drawn to your brand.

By leveraging data from diverse sources, marketers can create highly targeted and personalized campaigns that deeply resonate with listeners. Understanding the audience's preferences, interests, and behaviors forms the foundation for successful audience buying strategies. Through audience buying, brands can use different audio platforms and formats — including podcasts, music streaming, radio, and voice-activated devices—to effectively engage their target audience. This flexibility helps marketers experiment, adapt, and optimize their campaign strategies based on their audience's preferences and behaviors.

Yet, it's important to remember that audience buying is a dynamic landscape that requires continuous adaptation. Consumer behaviors shift, and preferences evolve. Marketers must remain agile, constantly refining their audience buying strategies based on real-time insights and feedback to stay ahead. And audience buying technology has the potential to provide precisely that to marketers.

Building relevance, scalability, and reach

By harnessing demographic, behavioral, and interest-based data, advertisers can deliver ads to specific audience segments with a high likelihood of interest in their products or services, driving greater relevance and engagement.

It all boils down to advertisers connecting with the right audience and delivering personalized messages that deeply resonate with their target market, elevating the overall effectiveness of the ad campaign and delivering greater relevance and engagement. And when you seize the opportunity to capture attention, you can ultimately inspire purchase decisions.

Expanding reach across multiple audio platforms, podcasts, or radio stations allows advertisers to tap into a larger pool of potential listeners and boosts their brand visibility. Statista reports that the digital audio advertising market's number of listeners is expected to reach 1.52 billion users by 2027. Advertisers can scale their campaigns by targeting different audience segments or exploring new markets, leveraging the flexibility and extensive reach of audience-based ad buying.

Ad efficiency enables increased ROI

Another advantage of audience buying is allowing advertisers to streamline their advertising efforts. By targeting specific audience segments, they can concentrate their resources on platforms, podcasts, or time slots that are popular among their target audience, helping to maximize reach and impact and generating better results from the ad campaign. As advertisers continue to navigate recent economic headwinds, focusing ad spend on the specific audience segments most likely to convert reduces ad wastage and can optimize return on investment (ROI). The key is to minimize exposure to audiences unlikely to be interested in the advertised product or service. This ensures that ad spend is utilized more efficiently and effectively.

Audience data can make or break a campaign. Trafficking a campaign without access to the correct data is always a risk. Additionally, as new privacy regulations and settings render traditional identifiers unreliable, finding and reaching relevant audiences become the Holy Grail of campaign trafficking efforts. Innovation never takes a day of rest, and there are processes, resources, and tools to meet the moment.

With innovations like predictive audiences, advertisers can make ideal audiences available for campaign targeting and easy to reach through privacy-friendly contextual signals. Predictive audiences use data analytics and predictive modeling techniques to identify and target specific groups of individuals likely to exhibit certain behaviors or characteristics in the future. This strategy aims to optimize advertising and messaging by targeting audiences with a higher likelihood of conversion or engagement. Predictive audiences are created by analyzing historical data and utilizing machine learning algorithms to identify patterns, correlations, and predictive indicators. Various data types, such as TV viewership, commercial signals, gaming habits, and life stage, can be used. By leveraging this data, advertisers can gain insights into consumer preferences, interests, and behaviors, enabling them to make more accurate predictions about future actions.

Enhanced measurement and analytics

Audience buying in audio advertising provides advertisers with potent measurement and analytics capabilities. They can track key performance indicators (KPIs) such as impressions, click-through rates, conversions, and return on ad spend. These insights help advertisers evaluate the success of their campaigns, optimize targeting strategies, and make data-driven decisions for future ad placements.

This data-driven approach eliminates guesswork and provides a clear understanding of campaign effectiveness. It empowers brands to make informed decisions rather than relying on assumptions. With audience buying in audio advertising, brands have the advantage of meticulous measurement and visibility, enabling them to improve the quality of their digital campaigns and maximize their impact on the target audience.

The playback

Audience buying has transformed audio advertising, empowering marketers to reach their target audience with precision and impact. By leveraging data, creating personalized messaging, and optimizing reach, brands can connect with listeners deeper, driving engagement and achieving marketing goals. As audio advertising continues to evolve, harnessing the power of audience buying will be instrumental in delivering compelling, relevant, and effective campaigns that resonate with the hearts and minds of the listeners, ultimately driving business growth and success.


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