As we sat in the departures lounge on the way back from an event in Manchester last week, we overheard a lady in the seat behind… “Turn off wifi”. Her phone swiftly followed command and we all heard confirmation that her wifi was now off. She chatted on… “Facetime Deborah” and seconds later, Debs was online! Not one tap or swipe. Just one voice talking. Another one listening. The job gets done. No touch. Just sound. Lovely!
Voice Activation and the world of audio consumption is in full swing. People are using less and less touch commands and replacing it with audio. Weirdly, although you might still feel it odd ‘talking to yourself’ when in the company of your smart phone/ Alexa/ etc, very soon anyone caught twiddling their knob (easy) or heaven forbid even touching a piece of paraphernalia to generate information and audio, will be the ones who feel silly and out of touch. Keyboards, keypads (and twiddly knobs) will very soon be unnecessary. Even touchscreens like this one will have less and less relevance. We’re already pushing keypads into extinction as we ‘tap’ our debit and credit cards, so it’s happening without us even noticing.
(Probably worth mentioning that the lady in the departures lounge was in her thirties so it’s not all Millennials broadening their audio experience. Spotify’s biggest growth area by a country mile is the 35+ age group)
According to Amplify in the UK, 50% of search will be voice activated by this time next year. Technology will continue to disrupt… BUT in change lies opportunity! Peoples’ listening habits will be easier than ever to measure; because the measurement tools are being created at the same time as the listening technology. When radio started out, there wasn’t a single way of tell just how many people were listening. That was half of the fun and intrigue about radio. Thankfully we have come a long way in measuring radio and we can compete on CPTs, demographic targeting, audience reach and OTH. Because measurement is being created at the same time as the platform, it is now easy to target audio listeners in the RIGHT CONTEXT (my new favourite word), making messages relevant to them and reducing waste of messaging… and advertisers’ budgets.
This is not to take from traditional radio listening… Look how strong radio remains for music consumption! Plus we still appreciate the power of drive time, the school run, business listening and so on. It simply means that we are a breath away from the stage where digital audio can’t be left off marketing plans. Even this big ‘FM’ fan is saying okay, it’s now time to give it wings. It doesn’t disrupt. It simply enhances radio and audio activity.
It’s probably not for all brands just yet but if you are looking to tap into the voice-activated generation and music/ content listening, digital radio should at least be on your radar.
If you’d like to chat about including digital audio or hear more about how it compliments radio plans, drop us a line!