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For listeners, content creators, and advertisers alike, audio is the reigning hero

By Paul Suchman, Chief Marketing Officer, Audacy

You don’t have to live in Metropolis or Gotham City to know that it’s a media jungle out there. Your favorite bingeable streaming shows. That enticing new web series. Trendy TikTok videos. The onslaught seems inescapable and ever-looming.

And yet, rescue is just a click away, and the hero of the story is audio. People have been tuning into audio for more than 100 years – well, more than 3,000 when you add in oral storytelling. Music. News. Sports. Podcasts. Conversations. Connections. The things that matter to them. Whenever they want it, wherever they are. It’s all there for the listening. Audio is a trusted, versatile media hero that brings its superpowers to consumers, content creators, and advertisers every hour of every day.

Listeners Tap into Their Personal Primetime

Amidst the daily grind and with professional and personals lives more blended than ever before, audio offers listeners an escape into what we fondly call their own Personal Primetime.  Those moments when they can catch up on their favorite media in their favorite channel.

Indeed, audio remains the top reach medium in the United States, with 230 million people listening weekly. Traditional radio alone reaches 92% of adults every week, and that’s only the beginning. In addition to streaming, time-shifted, and interactive radio, podcasts have created an entirely new channel for connections – and growth.

And what’s the secret to this amazing superpower? Actually, there are two: immediacy and trust. Whether it’s breaking news, a community chat, or that show that you just can’t miss, audio is still the fastest, most direct, and most powerful way to access content. And the voices coming over the airwaves into listeners’ homes, cars, pockets, and lives are people and brands they love and trust. There’s simply no other medium that delivers this combination of attributes so consistently and at scale. None.

Advertisers Leverage a Sound Strategy

Throughout the COVID-19 experience, listeners have relied on audio for updates; nearly two-thirds cite their local radio station as their preferred source of reliable information about the pandemic – more than any other medium.

With this latest proof of where consumers are listening, advertisers are switching from TV and social media to embrace the modern superpowers of audio. Listeners can catch news podcasts from The New York Times, and political and cultural reporting and commentary in audio format from The New Yorker. Here at Audacy, we’re thrilled that listeners are embracing our innovative programing, from C13Feature’s successful launch of the podcast movie for your ears, Treat, to Rotten Mango, the newest show in our Ramble Network’s influencer category, which breaks down spooky true crime stories with a unique and “sweet” comedic spin.

Podcasters Create Content – and Connections

Perhaps the true superheroes of audio, podcasters are the mild-mannered (and sometimes not so mild-mannered) reporters on anything you’d want to listen to: music, sports, entertainment, news, business, whatever.

Rather than investing significant time and effort to shoot a video or code social media content, podcasters can bring compelling messages to their intensely loyal audio fans almost immediately.

And when listeners regularly spend time with these trusted voices, they get to know what makes their favorite podcast hosts tick – and they tick the box for deep and lasting connections. For 83% of Gen Z podcast listeners, podcasters feel like friends. It’s no surprise, then, that podcasters are among today’s most influential voices.

So if you’ve been holding out for a hero to reach a mass, highly engaged audience at scale, your wait is over. Audio is the superpower at the heart of sound, enabling today’s most powerful influencers and beloved brands to deliver compelling content and build deep, meaningful connections with the listeners who continue to make radio, podcasts, and other audio outlets their preferred, sound choice.