Feb 1 2023
Megan Reschke

Digital Audio Advertising in 2023  


Audio is everywhere. And digital audio? Some might say it’s having a magic moment. More people than ever are tuning in—74% of US internet users last year, to be precise—and seasoned listeners are upping their time with the channel.   

Whether through the true crime podcast they binge on their morning commute, the songs they blast on their smart speakers while cooking dinner, the live sports broadcast they stream on their laptop while knocking out a last-minute work project, or the tunes they jam to during their evening workout, digital audio is pervasive in people’s lives. It’s a channel that extends beyond traditional radio, allowing listeners to tune in from virtually anywhere and enabling advertisers to use proven ad tech tools to connect with audiences in the moments they’re listening.   

Why is digital audio such a powerful medium, and how can advertisers harness that power in their campaigns this year? Today, we’re digging into all this and more as we explore the state of digital audio in 2023. Ready to talk about it, talk about it, talk about it? Let’s dive in.  

How do people today tune into digital audio?

The basics, the ABCs, the 1,2,3s: whatever you want to call them, here are some key stats to know about how people are listening:  

  • In 2022, the average US adult spent 100 minutes listening to digital audio. Among active listeners, that figure exceeded 135 minutes.
  • In 2020, time spent listening to digital audio surpassed traditional radio. In 2023, nearly 55% of audio time will be spent on digital platforms.
  • In 2022, US adults spent more time each day listening to digital audio (1:40) than they did watching subscription video services (1:27) or using social networks (1:15).
  • 273 million Spotify users and 44.2 million Pandora listeners opt for ad-supported tiers.

And just where are people tuning in to digital audio? Though listening can happen on a wide variety of devices—desktops, laptops, mobile phones, smart speakers, tablets, connected cars—in 2022, approximately 80% occurred on mobile devices. Talk about tak[in’] it on the run!  

What’s the state of digital audio advertising in 2023?

If digital ad spend had a personal anthem, it would be “Where You Lead”—and it would be sung directly to consumers. Predictably, with people increasingly tapping into digital audio, ad spend has followed in kind. Don’t believe us? Check it out:

  • US digital audio ad spend is projected to grow by nearly 50% between now and 2026.
  • US podcast advertising will surpass $2 billion in 2023 and will account for nearly one-third of all digital audio ad spend. By 2024, that amount is forecast to exceed $4 billion.

Plus, audio listeners are highly engaged with the content they consume and tend to respond well to audio advertisements as a result. Case in point:

All in all? For advertisers who still haven’t found what [they’re] looking for when it comes to their media mix, this might be the year to give digital audio a try.

Wrapping Up: Why embrace digital audio in 2023?

In many ways, digital audio advertising is what dreams are made of: time spent with the channel is increasing, more and more people are listening each year, it provides marketers a personal opportunity to connect with consumers, and it gives marketing teams the ability to use some of the most powerful tools in ad tech (programmatic advertising, advertising automation, targeting and measuring, etc.) in a way that traditional radio does not.  

Digital audio is everywhere, and the opportunities to connect with consumers in meaningful, personalized ways that drive action are significant. For advertisers looking to connect with consumers when and where they’re spending time with media—in a way that’s personalized and highly measurable, to boot—including digital audio in your 2023 marketing mix just makes sense.

Want even more audio insights? In our Audio Advertising Guide, we dig deeper into this channel’s potential, and provide strategies digital advertisers can use to make the most of the audio opportunity. It’ll have you belting “I’ve got the power” at the top of your lungs.

Get the Guide