Agencies Buy Into Digital Audio Advertising

In a recent industry presentation, marketing guru, Mark Ritson suggested that allocating just 11% of your marketing budget on radio can double the effectiveness of an overall campaign.

To date in 2024, agencies continue buying digital advertising in combination with other digital display formats, and recent research suggests that 90% of agencies have been heavily incorporating streaming audio advertising.

Over the last twelve months, digital audio and podcasting has been one of the fastest growing areas of the digital advertising ecosystem, with entertainment and lifestyle podcasts the most popular genre.

There isn’t a product or a category that can’t exist in compelling audio, so there’s no doubt the future sounds good for audio digital.


Full-cast audiobook productions of Harry Potter coming to Audible

Late next year, a partnership between Audible and Pottermore Publishing will see full-cast audio productions of all seven Harry Potter books released on Audible.

The new audiobooks will offer the full range of character voices, real-world sounds and musical scoring for the recorded stories.

Each of the seven audiobooks will be released sequentially for a global audience.

The Harry Potter audiobooks were first published in 1999 and since launching on Audible in 2015 have reached 1.4 billion global listening hours.

The complete Harry Potter audiobook collection on Audible also includes:

  • The Tales of Beedle the Bard performed by Jude Law
  • Harry Potter: A History of Magic performed by Natalie Dormer
  • Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them performed by Eddie Redmayne
  • Quidditch Through the Ages performed by Andrew Lincoln

Bob Carrigan, CEO of Audible, said, “We are thrilled about the opportunity to be part of this next chapter – delighting new and old fans alike with a reinvigorated listening experience that Audible is expertly positioned to create.”

Spotify Users Listening To Audiobooks

In a bid to attract new users and retain existing ones, Spotify introduced 15 hours of free audiobook listening per month from October last year for paid subscribers.

Today, one quarter of paid users in the UK, US and Australia have started listening to audiobooks as part of their subscription.

Spotify states that 57% of users are 18-34 years-old, which suggests the new format is appealing to younger listeners.

Spotify says audiobook listeners spend an additional two and a half hours in the app within 14 days of starting a book.

To further boost the number of audiobook listeners the company is set to roll out more tools like an author-oriented dashboard.

Book publishing partners have also been encouraged to share content, when authors appear on podcasts, allowing the company to also promote them on podcast pages.

What Makes A Great Voice Over?

A great voice over is one that effectively conveys the intended message, or story while engaging the audience. Here are some key elements that contribute to a successful and professional voice over:


The voice should be clear and easy to understand. Pronunciation, enunciation, and pacing are important factors in ensuring clarity.


The voice should convey the appropriate emotions for the context of the content. Whether it’s excitement, empathy, seriousness, or humor, the voice actor should be able to express emotions authentically.


The tone of voice should match the mood and purpose of the content. It could be authoritative, conversational, persuasive, or instructional, depending on the requirements.


Consistency in tone, pacing, and delivery is crucial for maintaining the audience’s attention and ensuring coherence throughout the voice over.


A good voice over captures the audience’s attention and keeps them engaged throughout the duration of the content. This can be achieved through dynamic delivery, storytelling techniques, or a compelling narrative.


The timing of the voice over should be synchronised with the visuals or other elements of the content to enhance comprehension and impact.


A skilled voice actor should be able to adapt their voice to suit different genres, audiences, and styles of content.


A good voice over is free from distractions such as background noise, mouth clicks, or other technical issues. It should sound polished and professional.


Authenticity is key to establishing trust and connecting with the audience. The voice should sound genuine and sincere, reflecting the character or brand it represents.


A versatile voice actor can perform a variety of roles and styles effectively, from commercials to narration to character voices.

Overall, a good voice over combines technical proficiency with creativity and authenticity to effectively communicate the intended message and leave a lasting impression on the audience.

Our Top 3 Celebrity Audiobook Reads

audio headphones

One of the few things better than reading a good book is having one read to you. Even better still, is being read a good book by your favourite A-list celebrity. Here are our top 3 celebrity audiobook reads for February 2024.

Samuel L. Jackson | Go the F–k to Sleepby by Adam Mansbach

Go the F**k to Sleep is a bedtime book for parents who live in the real world, where a few snoozing kitties and cutesy rhymes don’t always send a toddler sailing blissfully off to dreamland. And who better to read this than the on-screen master of the word F**k himself; Samuel L. Jackson.

Nicole Kidman | To The Lighthouse by Virginia Woolf

Virginia Woolf’s arresting analysis of domestic family life, centers on the Ramseys and their visits to the Isle of Skye in Scotland in the early 1900s. In 2002, Nicole Kidman won the Academy Award for Best Actress for her portrayal of Virginia Woolf in The Hours.

Benedict Cumberbatch | Sherlock Holmes’ Rediscovered Railway Mysteries by John Taylor

Yes, again, who better to read about Sherlock, than Hollywood’s Sherlock, Benedict Cumberbatch. Just don’t get him to say the word ‘penguin’. Inspired by Arthur Conan Doyle’s original Sherlock Holmes stories, John Taylor has written four more mysteries featuring the world’s greatest detective.

Audio Predictions For 2024

As a new year paves the way for more exciting opportunities, what do industry experts predict in the world of audio for 2024?

Increased Recognition From Brands

In 2024, we will see more brands recognise the benefits of audio for brand advertising and just how well audio ads perform in driving brand perceptions. 

Surge in live and interactive content 

In 2024 we might expect to see a surge in live and interactive content, with its sense of community and immediacy that enables users to engage with content creators and fellow listeners in a dynamic way.

Podcast Shake Up

In 2024, it looks like the podcast world is heading for a significant shake-up with Google entering the UK market (with Youtube Podcasts), and Spotify and ACAST looking over their shoulder.

Demand For Digital Audio

The popularity of programmatic audio across podcasts, streaming and radio will continue to grow, enabling advertisers to reach niche audiences specific to their marketing needs, in brand safe environments.

Audio Ads & Gameplay 

In 2024, there will be greater efforts on crafting audio ads that blend seamlessly with the gameplay, enhancing, rather than disrupting immersion in the gaming environment.






Audio Appeal For Gen Z

So how do brands leverage Gen Z’s move away from scrolling on social media, to listening via audio platforms like Spotify?

As young consumers seek immersive experiences, audio platforms provide a unique opportunity for brands to create memorable connections. 

Consumer spending habits suggest Gen Z are inclined to choose or buy a product from a brand with a sonic identity. 

In Spotify’s Culture Next Report, 50% of Gen Z stated they had a higher amount of trust in podcasts in comparison to traditional media sources such as TV news, radio, and newspapers. 

This suggests that audio marketing’s non-intrusive format, the ability to provide relevant and authentic messaging and the ability to hold a user’s active attention is key in building appealing to Gen Z.

Not bad for a generation that’s said to have a short attention span for advertising.

Spotify Takes On Audible

Spotify is taking on Audible for a share in the growing audiobook market, with the recent announcement that their premium memberships will include 15 hours of access to 150,000 audiobook titles each month.

Today, one third of Australians listen to audiobooks, with many of those listeners new to the format.

Audiobooks can be a lucrative source of income for authors because they offer higher royalty rates than other formats. Audible also commissions original work from local authors.

Experts suggest a greater demand for audiobooks will mean more opportunities for revenue streams because the audio format appeals to a different kind of reader.

Opportunities for revenue from audiobooks also exist away from the major tech platforms.

For example, in March, the Federal government announced an extension to the Public and Educational Lending Rights schemes to include digital content.

This means authors will be paid when public library users borrow the audio version of their book.

Digital Audio Ad Spend is Up

In Australia, industry experts suggest that despite a tough advertising market, digital audio is thriving.

According to the recent IAB Australia Online Advertising Expenditure Report, digital audio advertising reached over $68 million in the June quarter. 

This was a 14% increase from the same period in 2022. 

Podcast advertising surged by 24%, while streaming audio advertising grew over 8% to $41 million for the quarter. 

Radio streaming also increased by 81%, while podcast listening sits at a whopping 43% of the population aged 10+.

Total audio advertising for the 2023 financial year reached $235.6 million.

Hardy Audio Takes a Breath

The Hardy Audio team recently recorded two guided meditations for Mick Allen at 100% Breath for distribution on the Insight Timer app.

Insight Timer is a popular relaxation app that uses guided meditations, music and talks, to help with sleep, relaxation and mindfulness.

“The Insight Timer app is where my journey began and I’m grateful everyday to have found it. So, it was important for me to give something back to the community, and to anyone else that needs a little time out,” said Mick.

You can listen to the meditation recordings by Mick here.