Digital Audio

Losing Faith in Social Media: Your Campaigns Win with Audio

Dec 4, 2023

With its bad press and sketchy content, is social media the right context for your brand messages? Over half of our listeners are replacing time they used to spend on social with audio. The time is right to follow their lead.

The unending social scroll helps consumers pass the time while they’re waiting in line, between tasks, and during TV ad breaks. If you’re advertising in the space, you want to stop the scroll long enough to engage consumers and make an impression. But users' impression of the space itself should make brands take a closer look at the medium (and its alternatives). 

The barrage of dubious content and constant eye strain is making people wary and weary—which aren’t great moods for your ad messages to meet them in. Over two in three Gen Zers say social media sometimes makes them feel anxious, sad, or depressed. And one in three have left or deleted an account for good.

Meanwhile, audiences say streaming audio is 5.7X more of a mood booster than social media. And 51% of listeners say audio is replacing the time they used to spend with it.

Take your brand messages into a more positive space.

More Genuine Enjoyment

Social media brought us the rise of the selfie and the self-focused videos that followed, but how much self is in there? Filters, staging, jump cuts, and bad acting have created a fabricated reality—and consumers aren’t buying it. Over half of Gen Z finds social media either not very or not at all trustworthy. So, ads and endorsements in the space may be met with incredulity. 

Audiences feel better about spending time with digital audio than they do with social media. And they find the content significantly more authentic—which can benefit advertisers.

Rising Faster

Social media usage has been flat since 2017, showing only 2.5% growth. In that same time period, streaming audio consumption rose 23%. This contrast may be part of a growing trend of audiences looking to reduce screen time, with 58% of adults 18-34 saying audio helps them escape too much visual stimulation. And digital audio listeners are turning to streaming audio, talk, and podcasts for four hours and 50 minutes each day. So, even as they’re escaping their screens and giving their eyes a break, your ads can be in their ear.

Push Your Campaigns Further with Digital Audio

With shifts in habits and the abundance of platforms, brands can reach audiences over and above social media with digital audio. Check it:

  • 71% of our audience is not on X

  • 57% of our audience is not on TikTok

  • 49% of our audience is not on Snapchat

  • 37% of our audience is not on Instagram

So, even if social media is an integral part of your marketing strategy, digital audio can extend your campaign reach.

Ready to evaluate your media spend? Curious to see how digital audio stands up to traditional TV, AM/FM radio, and CTV? Check out Digital Audio vs.


  • 1.

    Origin, Hill Holiday “Meet Gen Z: the Social Generation” report 2019

  • 2.

    Pandora Soundboard, 2023 User Study, A18+ (N=4,632), March 2023

  • 3.

    SXM Media, Edison Research Custom Audio Study, Q1 2023

  • 4.

    SXM Media Culture Trends Soundboard, October 2022

  • 5.

    Edison Research, The Infinite Dial 2023

  • 6.

    Edison Research Share of Ear Study, Q2 2023, Percent More Time with Audio, Compared to Non-Digital Audio Listeners Base: P13+

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