Many debates in the ad industry revolve around audio ads versus video ads. Much data is available that delves into how each tactic performs from an attention and recall standpoint. A new study suggests audio outperforms video in these categories.

The way people consume these ads impacts how much they remember them. Audio is, of course, only entering ears. Video requires eyes and ears. Additionally, audio ads are usually not skippable, with listen-through rates of 91%. Listeners also tend to find them less disruptive than other ad types. Audio listening trends continue to showcase the medium’s value.

On the other hand, video has impressive engagement statistics as well. People watch an average of 17 hours of online video content each week, and part of that is ads, whether on YouTube or other sites. Video ad completion rates hover around 78%. However, some video ads are skippable, which drives down the percentage.

So, what does the latest data tell us?

New Study: Audio Ads Outperform Video

According to a new study, audio is taking the lead in engagement. In the study, audio ads included podcasts, radio and streaming. The researchers compared audio with video, TV, social and display.

Here are the key takeaways:

  • Audio has greater attentiveness scores than all other formats.
  • Audio generates 5% greater brand recall than video.
  • AM/FM radio and podcasts are the most cost-efficient tactics.
  • Brand choice uplift for audio ads was 10%.

In a world perceived to be so visual, why does audio outperform video? Again, it goes back to how people consume content (and where). Audio listeners may be more attentive, whether in the car or sitting at their desks. Video watchers may be less so and may have videos muted.

Another point to consider is how people feel about advertising in general. It could also be that many people are ad blind to anything on the screen that isn’t what they tuned in to versus hearing short, upbeat audio spots.

So, why does this matter for local media sellers? It supports the value of audio, proving the point of radio’s influence related to purchase intent. However, since you want to expand the ad budgets you win, focus on promoting both.

Audio and Video Drive the Best Results

The most successful campaigns include multiple tactics. You can pair radio spots with video ads for display, social media or OTT/CTV. Adding streaming audio to this can amplify it further. With radio, advertisers get broad reach in a medium that reaches all demographics every day. They’ll also benefit from the “trust halo” of radio. The concept is that many people have more trust in radio because it’s local and because of their positive feelings toward on-air personalities.

With video digital advertising, advertisers can target their audience more specifically by location, demographics and interests. Thus, the content can be more tailored to whom they want to reach, which could improve recall and conversions.

An integrated campaign hits all angles, which drives higher return on ad spend (ROAS) and grows your revenue.

To learn more about the power of audio and digital, read our post, Digital Advertising Makes Radio Stronger.

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