Digital Audio

Culture Moves Fast: These Trends Help Brands Keep Up

Jul 9, 2024

Culture travels on sound waves, echoing and reverberating across demographics and media platforms to reach every curve and corner of society. Whether it’s Swifties taking over sporting events or podcasts taking astrology to new heights, audio is the inside track to what’s happening in the world at large—and how to connect with audiences. 

Get Some Attention

For brands, understanding culture is the difference between relevance and irrelevance. Connecting with audiences and earning their attention requires cultural comprehension—and audio gives you a way in. 

Audio has long solidified its place in culture, setting trends, breaking news, and bringing people together. Since its inception, audio has influenced everyone in earshot, expanding across borders, cultures, and generations. It's what makes audio the best environment to predict upcoming trends, while also providing the media and audiences advertisers need to be both on message and on trend. 

Get in On the Biggest Trends

Our 2024 Culture Trends Report is your guide to cultural comprehension in 2024.

Here are some teasers to get you started.

Mainstream No More, Enter: Substream

Monoculture has gone the way of tube TVs and transistor radios. Nearly half (46%) of adult listeners 18 and over say they don’t typically follow mainstream culture. As sources of information and entertainment continue to grow, ushering in more visions and voices, so do the artists, genres, and communities audiences plug into.

People are feeling deeper, more genuine connections with the niche. So, if advertisers can tap into the right subcultures to align with their target consumers, they can make more of an impact.

Running the World: Femmissance

No longer stuck behind great men, women are finally getting the credit they deserve for influencing culture and society on every level. Over half (53%) of female listeners think society’s expectations of women have shifted over time for the better. From blowing out box offices to spawning full-on economies with billion-dollar tours, women are driving culture’s biggest moments. And women, aka over half of the population, are drawn to female-centric content.

When it comes to household budgets, women hold the purse strings, which means brands need to reach and resonate with these powerful decision makers. Understanding the culture they’re driving and audio they love can make all the difference. 

Human, Meet Machine: Hyperreality

AI is great and all, but have you heard what humans can do? People are craving realness—real people, real sources, real takes—and with real creators and vision at the wheel, technology is bringing palatable scale and efficiency to the table. In practice, that can look like machine learning that brings people closer to the content they crave or ethically developed synthetic voices for producing audio ads for more audiences.

Audio is the most personal form of media. It’s people speaking directly about themselves and their feelings... makes me feel close to whoever I’m listening to, even though I don’t know them in real life.

Asian male listener30-34 years old

For brands, the net-net is don’t forget the humans with whom you want to connect. Incorporate AI thoughtfully and in ways that bring value to your consumers. 

With Their Whole Chest: Fandemonium

We’ve been building to this. Culture is most aptly defined by the things people love and the moments that bring them together—and fans live it loud and proud. Over eight in 10 of our listeners consider themselves fans of any music artist, podcast, celebrity, sport, content creator, brand, TV show, movie, book, etc. What people choose to consume is inextricably linked to who they are.

Fandom has reached fever pitch. The Beyhive, K-Poppers, Swifties, and more, they are all in on everything these culture-drivers do. Win them over, and your brand will see big benefits. Cross them, and… just don’t do that. There are more ways to be a fan than ever, giving advertisers more opportunities to reach them.

Get the Report

This has been but an amuse-bouche. If you want the whole scoop on today’s trends—and how to activate them—you need to download the report.


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