Digital Audio

SXM Media’s Top Digital Audio Findings from 2021

Dec 29, 2021

While your audience spent the year listening, we spent the year studying, testing, and making lots of discoveries. In partnership with our amazing advertising partners, our Insights Lab team has uncovered findings that we want to share with you. From streaming music to podcasts and tools, each of our data-backed studies reveals creative best practices and campaign optimizations that you can put to use in 2022. Check out our top three insights from 2021.

1. Monolingual language creative performs best

Insights into: Music and streaming

The goal: We wanted to know the best way to reach bilingual listeners through streaming audio. We partnered with KFC to target our “Latin Enthusiast” and “Latin Intensive” audiences and tested three types of creative: “Spanish-only,” “English-only,” and “English + Spanish.”

Key findings: We saw that the monolingual Spanish and monolingual English creative performed best, (which makes sense, since that’s what’s most authentic to the KFC brand).

Key takeaway: True authenticity in advertising messaging depends on two factors: staying authentic to your audience and staying authentic to your brand. Check out the full study here.

Coming next year: Stay tuned! We’ll be looking at the impact of 3D audio ads and short-form audio ads in driving upper-funnel metrics.

2. Podcast ad length effectiveness can vary by KPI

Insights into: podcasting

The goal: We wanted to see how podcast ad length affected KPIs, so here’s how we did it: We partnered with Xfinity and Signal Hill Insights to serve participants 15, 30, or 60-second announcer-read spots created by SXM Media’s Studio Resonate, while they listened to either an episode of Hidden Brain or Oprah’s SuperSoul Conversations podcast. 

Key findings: Shorter 15-second ads were just as effective, based on the Stitcher benchmark, at driving upper-funnel brand recall, and longer ads (30s and 60s) drove mid- and lower-funnel KPIs, such as brand familiarity and leading listeners to take action.

Key takeaway: Podcast ad length effectiveness can vary by KPI, so consider using a combination of ad lengths in your campaign for the best success. Read the full study here.

Coming next year: We’ll be looking at the most effective ways to use each type of podcast ad—host-read, announcer-read, and pre-produced—as well as the impact of contextual targeting in podcasts.

3. Through "audibility," SXM Media can show that your ad had the chance to be heard

Insights into: Tools & capabilities 

The goal: Audibility is a brand new metric, and we wanted to put it into action and see the audibility rate on our mobile audio impressions. (FYI, an audio ad is considered “audible” if it plays for at least 2 continuous seconds, plays in a fraud-free environment, and plays when the player or device has volume on).

Key findings: We’re excited to announce that we have 1P and 3P audibility metrics available. Since early 2021, brands including Church’s Chicken, Frito-Lay, Kroger, Volvo, and Xfinity have been participating in an open beta to test audibility on Pandora. And after testing audibility on over 100 million mobile audio impressions, the average audibility rate was 97% and the IVT (invalid traffic) rate was <1%. 

Key takeaway: You can now have confidence that your ad impression had the chance to be heard, thanks to our best-in-class platform. 

Coming next year: We began this audibility testing journey on Pandora—and now plan to bring the measurement across all of our SXM Media brands and offerings. We anticipate the demand for increased transparency will only get stronger, and we look forward to being able to provide you with even more peace of mind.

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