Audio

How brands can tailor their audio ads to target “co-listeners”

A study conducted by Spotify and Magna found that a majority of respondents listen to digital audio with others at least once a week.
article cover

Blackcat/Getty Images

less than 3 min read

Get marketing news you'll actually want to read

Marketing Brew informs marketing pros of the latest on brand strategy, social media, and ad tech via our weekday newsletter, virtual events, marketing conferences, and digital guides.

Not everyone listens to their music or podcasts with noise-canceling headphones on the subway to block out the sound of the mariachi band in their car. Many people enjoy audio together, aka “co-listen.”

It is “pretty pervasive” these days, according to Jon Gibs, global director and principal data scientist for Spotify Advertising, which recently teamed up with Magna’s Media Trials research unit to conduct a study called “The Togetherness Effect: Why Brands Should Be Paying Attention to Co-Listening.”

About three-quarters (74%) of respondents said they co-listen to digital audio at least once a week. A majority of adult Gen Zers (86%) said the same. The study also found that co-listeners generally tend to be in a positive mood, and that those good vibes can carry over into their perceptions of certain ads if they’re well-targeted.

Methodology: The companies tapped a panel of digital audio listeners—about half co-listeners and half solo listeners—and played them either a test or control ad at random as they were listening to about 30 minutes of digital audio. Then, respondents were asked to complete a survey about their co-listening behaviors, ad opinions, and other brand metrics.

Ad impact: Co-listeners were exposed to “storytelling” and “product-focused” ads. The storytelling ads performed better, the study found, as they over-indexed compared to product ads when respondents were asked if the ad caught their attention, was something they were open to, and improved their perception of the brand.

Targeting: The study found that these are the most common types of moments for co-listening: relaxing, hanging out with friends, cooking, entertaining kids, and doing yoga.

Get marketing news you'll actually want to read

Marketing Brew informs marketing pros of the latest on brand strategy, social media, and ad tech via our weekday newsletter, virtual events, marketing conferences, and digital guides.