Top College Media Strategies: Campus Audio Advertising

Topics: Digital Media, Campus Media

Posted by: Marketing

Audio streaming services continue to explode in popularity, especially among young adults. Spotify, Pandora, and other digital platforms are the preferred sources of audio information and entertainment for the majority of millennial and Gen Z listeners. Reach this crucial audience with one of the top college media strategies - campus audio advertising.

Audio Advertising


What is audio advertising?

“Audio advertising” is the ads you hear while listening to an audio streaming platform. Whether you’re streaming your favorite radio station or  tuning in to content on Pandora, Spotify, Stitcher or a similar platform, you’re likely to be targeted with audio advertisements. 

Advertisers can buy space on streaming platforms, and strategically target users who fit their desired audience profile. Each individual who uses an audio streaming service must create an account. These profiles require information such as the user’s gender, age, address, and music preferences. This critical demographic data serves as a way for advertisers to target potential niche audiences.



“Today it’s not about ‘get the traffic’ — it’s about ‘get the targeted and relevant traffic. 



Why is campus audio advertising one of the top college media strategies?

It’s no secret that the world of advertising is changing drastically. Younger consumers are engaging less with traditional broadcast media and spending much more time on digital media platforms. Let’s look at some of the unique traits that make campus audio advertising so worthwhile.


Digital audio streaming is a large and ever-growing territory.

While the audio streaming space is relatively new and continues to emerge, it’s increasing in popularity each year and shows no signs of slowing down. More and more users are shifting to multimedia and audio streaming platforms every day. 

In fact, Forbes has gone so far as to state that streaming is officially the lifeblood of the U.S. music industry. This makes sense, when you consider that Spotify alone has 433 million users. According to a 2022 IFPI survey, music streaming saw growth of 24.3 percent in 2021 - no small feat given that it already accounted for 85 percent of the music market in 2020. In addition, the number of Americans listening to podcasts has almost doubled over the past ten years. At last count 144 million Americans listen to podcasts. 


MSSmedia Podcast Stats



Younger generations are particularly fond of digital audio streaming.

  • 61 percent of 25-34 year-olds utilize audio streaming.
  • More than 75 percent of Gen Z uses music streaming services.
  • 51% of adults ages 18-29 stream music every day.
  • 59 percent of adults ages 18-29 said streaming services are their favorite way to listen to music. 
  • 38 percent of people ages 15-25 listen to podcasts on a weekly basis.
  • 44 percent of 26-35-year-olds listen to podcasts on a weekly basis.


Audio advertising allows for detailed audience targeting and tracking.

As discussed above, platforms like Spotify provide log-in data that allows advertisers to hone in on specific groups of users based on their age, gender, listening habits, etc. Advertisers can both target their specified audience and measure post-advertising data that is integral in evaluating the campaign. On Spotify, for instance, advertisers can measure user interaction and see if an individual listened until the very end of an ad. 

While it’s essential to be able to track how many people your advertisement has reached, it’s becoming increasingly important to follow the user journey. For example, did the user visit the advertiser’s website? Did the user make a purchase? This information allows advertisers to track performance in real-time and provides a more accurate calculation of Return on Advertising Spend (ROAS) from music to podcast streaming platforms.





Podcast listeners are particularly receptive to audio advertisements.

Podcast listeners differ from other audio consumers in a few key ways. As a starting point, podcast listeners choose the specific podcasts they hear based on very distinct personal preferences. Podcasts are tailored explicitly to niche audiences with a shared respect for the topic, podcast host, or both.

Podcasts have high engagement and retention rates with low advertising skip rates (due to the organic way hosts incorporate advertisements into their programming). There is also a level of user dedication to podcasts - the feelings of closeness between the user and the host. As a result, 50 percent of 18-34-year-olds consider podcast ads either “very” or “somewhat” trustworthy. 

While radio listeners tend to change the channel when advertisements come on, Adweek finds that podcast listeners tend to hang on every word of the show, ads and all. And listeners are more receptive to the brands the host endorses. IAB Edison Research found that 45 percent of podcast listeners visit a sponsor’s web page, 42 percent consider a new product or service, and 37 percent gather more information on the product or service after hearing it advertised via a podcast.


How do I add audio advertising to my successful college media strategies?

Creating an audio ad campaign can seem daunting. From choosing distribution channels and writing a script, to adding background sounds and doing the voiceover, to recording and distributing your advertisement, there’s a lot to learn. Don’t let the novelty of audio-advertising intimidate you or keep you from entering this lucrative market!

We give the same advice to those looking to reap the benefits of audio advertising as we give to anyone looking for marketing success - always begin by establishing your goals.  Well-defined marketing goals are essential for any effective advertising campaigns.


MSSmedia SMART Marketing



Pandora also offers some advice for those interested in more than the technical details of audio advertising. To make a real impact, they recommend considering your target consumer’s listening experience, using a tone that veers towards conversational, making your message clear and to the point, including a Call To Action, and using music or other sounds to leave a lasting impression.

If all the work involved in setting up your first audio advertisement seems like too much to take on yourself, we highly recommend choosing a media partner who knows what they’re doing. As experts in media and advertising services, digital media, and communications for almost two decades, we would be happy to execute your campus audio campaign. 




Read the other posts in our “Types of Campus Media” series:


Looking for more information on how to run a successful digital campus media campaign? See our complete guide to advertising to university students.




Here at MSS Media, Inc., we’ve been providing Education, Government, Real Estate & Lifestyle clients with succinct, optimized, and successful marketing solutions for more than 15 years. Consider MSS Media, Inc. a full-service, one-stop shop for all your Media and Public Relations needs. Your goals are our motivation. And our mission is to propel your message, further and faster, to achieve the outcomes you’re looking for. If you found this blog post helpful, please share!

+ Search

We deliver the latest media tips + insider marketing advice straight to your inbox.