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In Their Ear: The Audio That Motivates AAPI Audiences

May 24, 2023

We have the content AAPI audiences crave and the targeting and expertise to help brands connect with them through authentic, relevant messages.

Earlier this month, we talked about ways brands can connect authentically with Asian American audiences. Now for the fun part. Let’s jump right onto the dance floor and groove to the rhythms that move AAPI audiences and provide brands with opportunities to reach them.

AAPI audiences connect with music

Loving Regional Sounds

Regional music speaks to the heart of Asian culture. But really, it’s cultures because there are dozens of ethnic groups that fall into the broad AAPI category. With over half listening to Asian music genres,1 advertising on digital audio channels that provide this content is a great way to reach them. Whether brands want to broadly target or refine down to specific region, knowing what content Asian American audiences are listening to is important. That way brands can target genres or sponsor specific stations with relevant messages.

Music moves AAPI audiences

Setting Trends on Pandora

Along with nostalgia and culturally diverse music, Asian Americans embrace electronic, house, and dance music as staples in their playlists. As we see with top trending artists and genres on Pandora, electronic indexes high across the board. These genres allow listeners to connect with their peers and express their distinct identities.

Straight from the dance floor to their headphones, electronic, house, and dance music provide an immersive experience that transcends cultural boundaries, further highlighting the cultural fluidity that defines this audience. By understanding the importance of these genres to Asian Americans, advertisers can create engaging and relevant campaigns that resonate with their unique musical preferences and tastes.

AAPI listening preferences on Pandora

On The Brink With SoundCloud

SoundCloud is a leader in identifying emerging talent and scenes, drawing young, multicultural artists and audiences. Some of today’s biggest musicians got their start on the platform—meaning the next big thing is probably uploading their latest songs right now. And that includes Asian artists. 

Take K-House for example. South Korea has embraced the pulsing, outsized dance tunes of EDM, as well as the global sound of house and created a new genre, K-House. With over 200 artists on SoundCloud, Korean EDM listening has grown by 150% over the past year and 16% in the last month. 

Noteworthy K-House Artists

  • Peggy Gou: A Berlin-based DJ whose unique electronic sound combines influences from her Korean heritage and European electronic scene.

  • SKINSHIP: A Seoul-based DJ duo known for their energetic sets and innovative mixing of traditional Korean music with modern EDM beats.

  • Epiik: An up-and-coming producer who skillfully infuses traditional Korean elements into his tracks, creating a fresh and captivating sound.

Picking More Podcasts

Podcasts continue to grow in popularity, with the number of U.S. adults who listen to them increasing every year. This is also true for AAPI audiences who have leaned into podcasts, with a 25% growth in listenership since 2018.2 And more and more AAPI voices are taking to the mic to tell their stories, share their perspectives, and inform the masses. From deep conversations about mental health with iWeigh to investigative true crime from LA’s Koreatown with Strangeland to explorations of human behavior with Hidden Brain, Asian creators are delivering a wide variety of podcast content.

We Can Get You In Their Ear

We have the content AAPI audiences crave and the targeting and expertise to help brands connect with them through authentic, relevant messages. And with an 87% addressable audience across SXM Media channels,3 your ads are more likely to reach them. Let’s talk.


1. Pandora Asian American User Study, March 2020

2. Nielsen Podcasting Today 2021

3. Pandora Internal Metrics, Q4-22

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