Alexa, play some advertising trends.

Bye, Bye, Billboards

595 BILLION bucks buys a lot of ads, and 2020 is set to see more than half of that global ad spend directed toward digital advertising for the first time in history. According to new forecasting by media intelligence resource MAGNA, social ad spending will remain strong (up 25% this year), but won’t hit the 34% increase it saw in 2018.

Where My Millennials At?

Part of the social softness can be attributed to younger users abandoning legacy platforms like Facebook and Twitter to play it by ear. Vincent Létang, EVP of global market intelligence at Magna and author of the report, sees some of these spends shifting to good old-fashioned audio, with radio revenues stabilizing and digital audio (podcasts, music streaming) revenues growing by 10%.

“The radio and audio category is recovering nicely,” Létang said. The Tokyo Summer Olympics and U.S. presidential election are expected to find increasing numbers of listeners tuning in.

HAL, Open the Pod Buy Doors

The rollout of 5G, increasing adoption of smart devices like Alexa and the fact that everyone on earth seems to be hosting their own podcast (hi, Dad!) has advertisers listening up. Although not yet ubiquitous, a report from Edison Research notes that one in four Americans aged 12 and up now has at least one smart speaker in their homes.

“Smart speakers can actually deliver really contextual, relevant audio ads into people’s living rooms or kitchens when they’re preparing their dinner, getting their children ready for school or just chilling out a home where they don’t want to look at a screen,” said Oliver Deane, director of commercial digital at digital advertising audio platform DAX. According to one report, more than two-thirds of marketers say they plan to increase their spend in podcast advertising in the coming year.

Streaming audio is also still largely uncluttered by ads, and its nature makes it (currently) difficult for users to install ad-blockers or customize their signal-to-noise ratio by skipping forward. What’s next? We’ll keep our ear to the ground.

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