The Resurgence of Audio

The Resurgence of Audio

Back in 1979, The Buggles sang about how Video Killed the Radio Star. Now, in 2022, it seems video inspired the radio star. 

Witness the recent resurgence of audio streaming platforms, developed on the heels of video apps like TikTok, which energized users to create short, highly shareable clips. Developers saw the power of short video—their “call-and-response” nature provoked virality—and drew logical conclusions about the potential power of audio. 

 

Short audio clips and the platforms that host them form a new and commanding share of the social media marketing space. Streaming audio and podcasting platforms are poised to grow 17.8% in 2022, having already grown 24.7% in 2021 (InsideRadio). A quick look at the profusion of new audio platforms supports this growth. 

 

Clubhouse first created exclusive, invite-only “rooms” for listeners and speakers to drop in and out of conversations across a spectrum of interests. The Crafting Spot Club, a club with 3.7k members, gathers crafty entrepreneurs to discuss their business interests. Brown and Bougie, founded by BIPOC members of Clubhouse, boasts 3.9k members with the same goal: uniting crafters in a space dedicated to networking and resource sharing. Facebook then picked up the idea and developed Live Audio Rooms, where users host conversations with up to 50 speakers and no limit to listeners. WordPress teamed up with Achor.fm, enabling bloggers to instantly convert their blogs into podcast episodes. Twitter just launched Twitter Spaces, a dedicated space to host live audio conversations on the app. Now, several new audio, conversation-focused apps have emerged—Beams, Quest, Pludo, Racket, to name a few—all with the same general idea: Create an open, audio-only space for people to converse, ask questions, and post responses, sometimes in real time.

 

So, how do audio apps differ from podcasting? These platforms create a space for dialogue, whereas podcasting exists as a one-way conversation. The inclusivity of numerous voices creates a more interactive, lively, and engaging space. We can’t discount that the recent rise in popularity of audio-only apps concurred with the pandemic. Stuck at home and disconnected from their normal social circles, society migrated towards more online interactions. Audio platforms where users can converse provide a necessary outlet for millions of disconnected people. 

 

So, why explore an audio platform when you could just podcast? As mentioned above, with an audio platform, you’re hosting a conversation rather than a monologue. It’s the audio analog to the “call-and-response” aspect that drives TikTok’s popularity. But more importantly, podcasting often requires an enormous amount of planning and output. With a podcast, you might be booking guests, scripting narratives, editing episodes, securing advertisers, or any other number of tasks. With audio streaming, it can be as simple as posting a question and then allowing followers to respond. And now that popular social media apps are integrating spaces to host audio-only interactions, it’s easier than ever to engage in this new method of reaching your customers. 

 

Audio streaming is also perfect for the video-shy among us, who want to engage more with their audience but remain camera averse. It’s interactive without being too interactive. It also complements our modern, multi-tasking society. Anyone can pop a set of headphones on and listen to a conversation while working, exercising, cleaning the house, running errands, etc. Forget Zoom and video fatigue—there’s no need to turn on a camera or even announce you’re listening to a conversation. Listeners can respond if and when they want to, or remain quiet and simply listen in. 

 

Imagine hosting a space where your customers can pose questions about your products and get responses from you—and other customers—in real time. Or posting a short message of what you’re making on a given day, and asking others what they’re making. Or hosting a quick dialogue where your listeners gain access to a popular creator and can ask questions about upcoming projects. Audio platforms offer the opportunity to forge a stronger community and increase connectivity with your brand, which studies have shown reinforces brand loyalty (SproutSocial). 

Interested in learning how you can integrate an audio platform into your social media strategy? Contact us today for guidance!

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