Music has always played a special role in culture but this year particularly people are tuning into more audio content via YouTube and YouTube Music. This is largely in an effort to combat Zoom fatigue and make it easier to absorb content whether tutorials, lectures, classes, meetings while juggling the obstacles of a remote work environment.
In response to this trend and in an effort to help brands efficiently expand reach and grow brand awareness with audio-based creative, the platform dropped several updates to help brands reach these users, with ads specifically designed for non-video consumption.
Elevating your brand’s message with audio
According to YouTube, more than 50 percent of logged-in viewers who consume music content in a day consume more than 10 minutes of music content.
The company also shared that in the early testing phase of the update, more than 75 percent of audio ads yield a significant lift in brand awareness. An ad from Shutterfly, for example, garnered a 14 percent lift in ad recall and a two percent increase in favorability in its target audience.
“Regardless of when and how people are tuning in, we have ways to help advertisers connect, even when they’re consuming music in the background. Now you can complement the moments your consumers are watching, by engaging them in moments when they’re listening, with newly announced audio ads,” YouTube’s Head of Music Lyor Cohen explained in a separate blog post.
Enhanced targeting via dynamic music lineups
Also part of its audio push, YouTube is announcing dynamic music lineups, allowing marketers to target their campaigns at collections of music channels on YouTube.
This will allow advertisers to more easily reach audiences based on specific music genres spanning ‘Latin music‘, ‘K-pop‘, ‘hip-hop‘ and ‘Top 100.’ In addition, brands can leverage these music lineups to focus on particular moods or interests, like ‘fitness.’
Audio ads best practices
To be clear, these new Youtube ads are designed for the viewer who is looking to “squeeze in a living room workout before dinner, catch up on a podcast or listen to a virtual concert on a Friday night.” These are not audio-only ads, rather they are relying on audio to do the majority of the communicating understanding that people may only be glancing at the visual image sporadically or not at all. The visual side of these new ads, therefore, will be limited to “a still image of animation.” Put differently, if the person was to close their eyes, they would still clearly understand the ad’s message.
The future of music marketing and audio conversations
More than 2 billion logged-in viewers are watching at least one music video each month. Over half (60%) of YouTube’s music viewing happens on mobile, where background viewing or listening is disabled.
Stats aside, innovations in social media and shifts in consumer behavior are fundamentally reshaping how music is made, consumed and shared. Brands will need a music strategy to ensure they keep pace with culture and have a powerful opportunity to lead in this intersection and create meaningful partnerships with consumers. With podcasts on the rise over the past few years, it makes sense audio content would be of interest on YouTube, despite being primarily a video service, as well as other platforms.
Over on Twitter, a test of an audio-only virtual meeting room option, which will be built on top of its new Fleets, Stories-like tool, is underway and set to launch by year’s end. Audio Spaces will enable users to start rooms where certain people can lead a discussion and others can then join, either to just listen in or to actively participate. The user who creates the space will have full moderation controls — an attempt by the platform to prioritize safety and prevent misuse and harassment.
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