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Streaming Audio Advertising Demystified

Office 4

Three common misconceptions and the facts to set the record straight about advertising on this rapidly growing platform

Streaming, also known as digital audio. We’re talking Radio.com, iHeartRadio, Pandora, Spotify, TuneIn.com and your favorite AM/FM stations streamed over the internet. How do these channels differ from traditional radio? For one, the listener is actively searching out and tuning in to this specific content on demand; primarily via a mobile device. Secondly, advertisers can hyper-target listeners thanks to subscriber information collected at the time of signup.

If you haven’t considered streaming audio recently, here are three common misconceptions and the facts to set the record straight about advertising on this growing platform. 

Myth One: Streaming audio can’t target my audience for direct response

While radio advertising has long been used for broader brand awareness, streaming radio requires a subscription. Subscriber information captured at the time of signup means streaming audio advertisers have a long and detailed list of demographic information. These details make it easier for advertisers to pinpoint individuals based on the device they’re using, their age, gender, location, and more. With a digital platform supporting delivery, even the frequency that your ads are served–down to the individual–can be specified. This level of precision enables lower and more efficient CPM (cost per thousand impressions).

Myth Two: There isn’t very much streaming audio inventory

According to eMarketer, U.S. listeners spent just under 10 hours per day listening to digital audio in 2019. Overall, time spent with digital audio increased by 12.1% from 2017-2018 and is expected to increase an additional 15.7 percent by 2021. That’s a 28 percent increase in five years. 

Thanks to the portability of audio across cars, phones, and smart speakers, streaming audio has reached an inflection point in relevancy and accessibility. In fact, our friends at Pandora recently published a study that shows as of 2019, 18-54’s are spending over half their time with digital audio vs traditional radio. 

Myth Three: My audience isn’t listening 

Streaming audio audiences are large and diverse. As of 2019, Pandora has 72.4 million U.S. listeners; Spotify has 65.3 million users; Apple Music has over 60 million subscribers. Add those to the listeners on radio.com, iHeart, TuneIn.com and others, and you’re looking at 60% of the population 12+ who are weekly online audio listeners. 

In a 2019 survey by the Infinite Dial of Americans 12-54: 30% listened to Pandora 24% listened to Spotify, 13% listened to iHeartRadio, 12% listened to Apple Music and 12% listened to Amazon Music within the last month. 

This large population of subscribers are not just listening to digital audio, they’re highly engaged with the content because they specifically tuned into it. This also means they’re not switching the channel when an advertisement comes on. 


One of the primary benefits of adding Streaming to your audio portfolio is the ability to optimize your campaign in near real-time.  Whether it is to ramp up investment or target specific promotional windows for seasonal clients.


Recent research highlighting the power of audio affirms this medium’s credibility and power. As a reprieve from our screen-driven lives, audio provides an engaged audience with the ability to visualize their own imagery in the landscape of their imagination. With a powerful narrative, an engaging host, and a little creativity, your advertisements have virtually unlimited possibilities in the minds of listeners. 

If you’re considering incorporating streaming radio for 2020, now is a great time to talk with a strategist about what makes the most sense for your goals and budget. If you’re already a Veritone One client, reach out to your strategist. And if you’re not already working with our crack team of audio advertising experts, we’d love to tell you more. Please send us a message