Nearly 40% of streams come from vernacular content, says Ravi K Shharma

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Ravi K Shharma on Audio Advertising for brands

Ravi Shharma from Gaana sheds light on the audio advertising landscape in India, changing consumer behavior and what it means for brands and marketers.

In a fireside chat, Ravi K Sharma, Vice President – Sales, Gaana, shares some invigorating insights on the evolving audio stream industry at AliveNow presents SAMMIE Best Social Media Brands and Summit 2020-21.

Emerging Consumption Trends & Patterns

The pandemic saw more of the Indian users spending time on the audio streaming platforms. With 300 million+ active users across these channels, Shharma shares that Indians love their music and this will only lead to an increase in the number of the users to almost double, by the next year.

Earlier, content consumption happened while the customers were in-transit. Owing to the circumstances, more people stayed indoors. During these times, Shharma highlights, “We saw a peak in consumption from 2 PM to 4 PM and then late at night around 10 PM to 2 AM.”

Further, consumption trends and patterns include:

  • Not just individuals but households accessing audio content
  • Increase in demand for motivational content and devotional content with the rise in demand for long-format non-music content. This also included newer shows and original content.
  • The resurgence of Indie music with more independent artists launching their music during lockdown days
  • Increase in podcast consumption for vernacular content even in Tier II and III cities for Bhojpuri, Kannada, Tamil, Bengali, and more languages.

“For our podcasts, close to 40% of the streams come from the vernacular content for our podcast content and 20% from music”, Shharma highlights.

Brands X Audio Advertising

When asked about full-funnel marketing for brands and the role of audio streaming platforms in the context, Shharma shares that the platforms can be leveraged for awareness with impactful results. Even for the bottom of the funnel, he shares that the metrics are changing, considerably and the medium is working quite well.

At a time when consumers might be spoilt for choices, catching the consumer in the right frame of mind is crucial, he explains.

Further, music patterns tend to change as per moods, in many cases. During such a period, how do brands leverage these sentiments and get into consumers’ minds and moments, in-line with the tools and opportunities provided by the audio platforms, is something that needs to be looked into?

Citing some relevant brand examples, Shharma points at campaigns when Gaane collaborated with Swiggy and Pizza Hut. A lot of such campaigns leveraged dynamic and smart ads for optimum results. Another example, he shares is of the podcast series by Neha Dhupia on Jio Saavn that worked well.

Also read: SAMMIE BSMB Summit 2020-21 Agenda: Live Sessions to Watch Out for

Audio Streaming for Advertisers

As the medium continues to work well for brands, the versatility and the variety of ad sharing options available on the audio streaming platforms is one of the key advantages for advertisers along with the 100% share-of-voice for the ads.

“Audio consumption is a personalized experience. With audio, brands get an immersive environment along with the safety and transparency, and 100% share of voice.”

He further states that the types of ad units available on audio streaming platforms such as dynamic audio ads (smart ads for creators), acceptance on voice-activated ads, and engagement achieved on the ad, are some of the attributes that the marketers can tap on to, leveraging these platforms.

Audio Advertisement: Challenges

One of the major challenges faced by brands is changing the mindset of the Indian audience, which is perceived to be driven more towards video and OTT. While that might be true, Shharma shares, the ad results, and data point that audio streaming platforms have the ability to provide the reach and scalability for the brands.

Another roadblock is that brands don’t have a creative strategy for the medium. To them, audio ads are another form of radio adverts.

Shharma recommends brands to start developing an audio strategy as well, to utilize audio ads while experimenting more with the medium.

To Sum it Up

Shharma encapsulates the conversation with the following key points:

  • Don't look at audio as just another radio. It's a very sizeable industry with a massive scale for you to utilize.
  • It's a highly immersive and personalized medium
  • Negligible ad avoidance
  • 100% brand safe with a share-of-voice
  • Creative strategy, data points, and interesting narratives are some factors that can be leveraged on the platforms.

Long-format content, podcast, innovation, and Live events present interesting opportunities for the medium, he concludes.

AliveNow SAMMIE Best Social Media Brands 2020-21 was brought to you by Society Tea, Storia, HQ, Godrej Aer.

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