MI Media Account Manager, Michael De’ath, headed to Piccadilly’s Picture House for an event held by Radiocentre which covered a range of topics. Here Michael shares his key takeaways from the day. 

Radiocentre’s Tuning In event covered a wide range of topics; from the history and growth of radio listenership to the huge impact Smart Speakers are expected to have on digital audio advertising over the next few years.   

The morning kicked off with Matt Payton, Radiocentre’s CEO, taking the audience through radio’s headline stats. In 2022, linear radio saw its highest listenership ever, even exceeding the spikes seen during the pandemic. It was also a year with the highest number of advertisers using radio, delivering the largest revenue to date. Payton went on to discuss how connected device listening hours have doubled due to the adoption of smart speakers, which account for 50% of all online listening. 

What opportunities does the growth of digital audio present? 

In the following session, Global’s Director of Group Strategy, Mark Hatwell, and DAX Strategy Director, Faye McDowall, built on the digital audio points made by Payton. They discussed how Global is using A.I. to evolve its digital radio offering, DAX, by building target audiences and considering how digital audio can be tracked via brand uplift studies.  

 Finally, we heard from Orlando Wood, Chief Innovation Officer at System 1, who discussed System 1’s research in Emotion and Effective Advertising. System 1 can now test audio ads with real emotion tracking, which analyses how different parts of the brain are affected by a brand’s radio creative. This enables advertisers to predict both the short and long-term effectiveness of a radio ad.  

The growth of digital audio is particularly important for some our clients who have already tested the waters with linear radio. With more options now available across the likes of DAX and Octave such as niche demographics and lookalike audiences or interest/hobbies targeting. For the right audiences or campaigns, this seems like the natural next step for them to look at testing.  

Overall, there was a lot to learn for brands that are thinking about or are currently advertising across radio and digital radio:   

  • Listenership: The number of individuals listening to Radio hasn’t decreased, and if anything, it’s increasing, with more people using connected or smart devices. 
  • The Growth of Digital Audio: Digital audio is now seen as the perfect combination of brand safety, emotional impact, targeting and measurement. In 2022, it accounted for £186m of ad spend and it’s continuing to grow 
  • Improvements in Audio Targeting: Digital audio offerings such as Octave and DAX now have more targeting options for advertisers, going beyond the targeting capabilities of linear radio 




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