Audio streaming has taken over the music industry. In fact, according to Business Insider, streaming services accounted for roughly 75 percent of all music listening in 2018, which is up from just 50 percent in 2016. With audio streaming establishing such dominance in the market, many financial institutions are left wondering how they can capitalize on the audio-streaming shift.
Check out our field guide to bank marketing in the age of audio streaming.
Meet the Players
As Apple's entrant into the music-streaming world, Apple Music has fared surprisingly well against well-entrenched competitors. According to Statista, the platform has more than 49 million monthly users, making it the most popular method of streaming users.
A close second to Apple Music, Spotify clocks in with more than 47 million monthly users. The Swedish company operates on a freemium model that allows free users basic access while providing paid subscribers with additional benefits.
Launched in 2000, Pandora Radio is one of the oldest players in the audio-streaming game. Simply put, they allow users to create a customized radio station that plays music that they like and doesn't play music they dislike. Like Spotify, it is a freemium service, supported by ads, that allows users to subscribe for an ad-free experience.
SoundCloud is where music streaming is born. Anyone can create an account and share their music for free—allowing artists to gain a following before attempting to capitalize off of other, more premium streaming services.
Google Play Music
A later entry into the world of music streaming, Google Play Music was launched in 2011. Similar to Spotify, Google Play Music offers users free access to its online library of songs, earning money through ad revenue or paid subscriptions to feature-rich premium versions of the service.
How to Advertise
Streaming audio advertisements vary from one platform to the next, but there are a few common characteristics worth mentioning.
Much like commercials on TV, streaming audio advertisements often come with predetermined ad lengths. Ads are generally offered in shorter, 10-15-second lengths or longer, 30-60-second lengths, depending upon the platform. Interested in learning more about making media buys? Take a look at our blog, What You Need to Know About Media Buying and Placement, for more information.
Some financial institutions hear the words "Streaming Audio Advertising" and assume that ads on these platforms are the equivalent of radio spots, but this is not the case. Ads on these platforms generally come with visual elements as well. For example, Spotify advertisements often feature a small, square visual in the lower left corner of the screen that essentially serves as album artwork for the ad. Additionally, a larger, rectangular popup window opens over the top of the player, allowing users to click through to your website or campaign-specific landing page.
According to American Banker, Pandora has seen a 20 percent increase in advertising from banks and personal finance institutions in 2018. Streaming-audio platforms are popular amongst bank marketers due, in part, to their valuable targeting tools and high click-through rates. For banks and credit unions, this means that these platforms could serve as an excellent place to drive mobile-application downloads and new member sign-ups—or simply as a way to drive brand awareness on a targeted, local level.