The State of Audio : The Audio Clip Comeback


We’ve heard sayings like these over the years, “print is dead” and based on the alarming number of news entities that continue to shut their physical doors and make available their product online, this might be true for 2018.

So what about audio? The first thing that comes to mind for most when considering companies whose identity is tied to audio would be traditional radio stations- and who listens to those? Well, according to Nielsen, a global measurement and data analytics company, lots of people are still listening to traditional radio, and a growing number of audio based products.

Nielsen recently released a report, State of the Media : Audio Today 2018, which gives interesting insights on how radio, and audio, have dominated over social media and broadcast consumption. One statistic that stuck out was the listening rate compared to smartphone use:

“Let’s talk specifics: According to Nielsen’s ratings data comparing adults 18+, AM/FM radio continues to reach more people each week than any other medium in the U.S. at 228.5 million consumers, compared with 216.5 million for TV (live, DVR and time-shifted), 203.8 million for app/web on a smartphone, and 127.6 million for video on a smartphone. Looking at the audio landscape, broadcast radio’s weekly reach of 228.5 million also outpaces the 68.5 million for streaming audio, 35.7 million using satellite radio and 21.9 million consuming podcasts.” — Nielsen Report

Audio is anything but dead, with progressive businesses leaning into the change and creating more audio friendly products and services. One such example how to capitalize on audio can be seen through the National Public Radio (NPR). Popularizing podcasts and news, NPR boasts of 28.9 million weekly listeners through more than 1,000 public radio stations. Online, NPR.org attracts a growing audience of 40.7 million unique monthly users.

Even beyond news, NPR has created a mass following of new ways to listen to music through podcasts such as “Tiny Desk Concerts”. It’s music, just like a typical local station, but with an NPR twist and the authenticity of a live concert.

So why the shift back to audio? One reason might be the accessibility it provides, and how Google and other search engines are now beginning to favor various forms of multimedia. With the proliferation of products such as Google Home, Amazon Echo, and various spin-offs of such products rely on the use of audio to give users concise, accurate answers.

With new age audio on the rise, so are platforms such as Spotify, SoundCloud, etc, and Adweek predicts that soon audio will surpass and conquer social media. Additionally, Adweek lists one of the reasons it believes that audio will continue to rise is based on the intimacy of audio, and sound clips.

Which thinking about the examples of NPR and others, this makes a lot of sense. Instead of being “shown” what to think, we are given the ability to generate our own mental images of the information we are consuming. For others, listening can be more passive and less distracting, allowing for more hours of listening.

The numbers speak for themselves, audio is anything but dead — and is an industry we want to keep up with. At Blerp, we are passionate about creating audio clips that can help our users continue to create and expand the way they communicate and share. If a worldwide debate can ensure over if you heard “Yanny or Laurel” in the audio clip then we believe that there is a lot to be said, and heard, through audio.

We will be staying up to date on the state of audio, as well as give our followers tips and tricks on how to incorporate audio into your businesses, daily lives, or special projects. Try Blerp today and hear for yourself.