The Interactive Advertising Bureau and Ipsos Mendelsohn, an independent research firm have released a new study Affluent Consumers in a Digital World. The study focuses on the behavior of Affluent Americans – the 21% of U.S. households that have a minimum $100,000 annual income or the top fifth of the country. They represent 70% of U.S. consumer wealth.
It’s an interesting study that reveals that these Americans, with concentrated buying power and generally low consumption rates of traditional media, are the heaviest users of digital media. While Affluent Americans are less likely than the general population to watch TV or listen to radio, they are more likely to own a smartphone, use the Internet and spend more time online.
Digital ads have considerable impact on awareness of products and companies for many Americans, but Affluent Americans are more likely than others to say that they learned about new products or learned about companies they were not aware of before due to digital ads.
Interestingly, this group prefers ad supported websites and are willing to provide more information about themselves in order to receive ads that they find relevant.
According to the study, video, banner, email and search ads are the most effective sorts of digital ads with this group, but I saw no evidence that digital audio ads were even included in the study. The IAB has only recently begun to acknowledge audio as a digital ad type – it’s been about a year since the IAB formed an audio committee (which I participate on) and released A Digital Audio Overview. On September 19th they will host an agency day at their office in New York City and they are making a strong effort to become a good resource for educating the agency and ad communities on digital audio ad opportunities.
While broadcasters gathered in DC last week, digital folks were in NYC at the Interactive Advertising Bureau‘s annual MIXX Conference, part of Ad Week in that city. (It’s a shame that the two events are at the same time.) During their event, the IAB released its “Digital Audio Advertising Overview” Platform Status Report, a first ever effort by that organization to define the digital audio space and make it easier for digital advertisers to understand it.
The document “defines the digital audio category and provides a snapshot of the marketplace audience size and demographics as well as outlining the players in the market, the vehicles currently used to deliver content and advertising formats, and some of the most important metrics for measuring success.” It’s a white paper that provides a nice overview of Internet radio in terms of audience and measurement, ad opportunities and standards. While the report calls itself an overview of the digital audio space, in fact it concentrates solely on Internet radio – I saw no references to podcasting, on demand streaming, HD, or any other types of what I consider to be audio of the digital variety.
The paper provides research from Nielsen, Bridge Ratings, AndoMedia as well as Edison Research/Arbitron’s comprehensive annual Infinite Dial Study to define the market size, provide listening data and identify the ad units typically available. It also lists major advertisers such as Chevrolet, Ford, McDonalds, Dunkin Donuts, American Express and Home Depot (the list is longer), and includes a case study of OnStar on the Katz Online Network as well as Pandora.
With this white paper the IAB, the main ad association for the digital market, is finally acknowledging digital audio as a digital ad option for advertisers, so it’s a great thing. With all due respect to those involved, it’s long overdue. While there is little that’s new in the report, it’s all pulled together very succinctly into a credible presentation that sellers can use to educate advertisers. It should be particularly useful with digital ad agencies who have been slow to spend on Internet radio. Having the IAB stamp of approval means a lot.
Congrats to Brian Benedik of Katz360 and Andy Lipset of TargetSpot, co-chairs of the IAB’s digital audio committee, and the companies that are on the committee: AndoMedia, Google, Clear Channel Radio, Comcast, comScore, Cox Cross Media, ESPN, Pandora Media, and others. Hats off for a job well done.
You can download the report here.