YouTube launches audio ads to reach users who frequent the platform’s music videos and podcasts.
With its audio advertisements, YouTube grants marketers a new opportunity to to reach music fans. By doing so, YouTube can develop an additional revenue stream and level its marketing strategy against Spotify, which already engages a large portion of loyal listeners via audio ads. With the ad opportunity, advertisers can choose when and where to promote their brand, which could help when targeting specific audiences. For example, advertisers can choose to run ads only on certain channels, like Latin music or country stations, or to push promotions for distinct playlists, such as fitness or relaxation mixes. Having the freedom to market exclusively to particular audiences could help brands reach niche targets and help YouTube gather analytics for which groups respond best to its new ad approach. For the initial roll out, brands can only run 15-second spots, as it’s a short enough amount of time that those who watch an average 10 minutes of music videos per day will stay engaged.
Currently, two billion users a month watch at least one music video on YouTube, so monetizing those views could help the platform significantly boost sales and grow its roster of brand partners. While 85% of music consumption on YouTube is the result of videos, the platform will focus initially on the remaining 15% dedicated to audio only, as it allows brands a less disruptive approach to marketing. Rather than a traditional video ad, the audio ads will feature a still image and clickable links, which could ensure a more seamless experience for YouTube users while still expanding a brand’s reach. Given YouTube’s high platform engagement rates, the audio ads present a higher likelihood of consumer connection, according to a Gartner report. During YouTube’s beta test of the initiative, it found that 75% of measured audio ad campaigns led to an increase in brand awareness, which shows that consumers are willing to receive ads and even retain information offered audibly. As YouTube prepares to release audio ads across genres and channels, it could compel more brands to join in hopes of reaching attentive listeners.
YouTube’s audio ads present a prime opportunity to engage young, tech savvy streamers in a way that could boost usership, brand awareness, and revenue. By launching its new ad format, YouTube could also sustain its prominence amongst music streaming mainstays like Apple Music and Spotify, and set the stage for future advertising ambitions.