Youtube audio ads: definition, functionality, and advantages

YouTube Audio Ads are the latest innovation introduced by Google on the YouTube platform.

YouTube advertising campaigns effectively increase leads, reach, and brand awareness for your company or channel. In this article, we will focus on what these new ads on YouTube are, why this new format was created, and the most effective marketing strategies for them. If you’re interested in delving into other advertising tools provided by Google, we recommend taking the Digital Coach® Google Ads Course.

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What are YouTube Audio Ads?

YouTube audio ads are audio advertisements. In addition to the video space, YouTube is often used for listening to music, ASMR, or podcasts, all of which are activities in which audio song plays a more important role than video images.

These ads are displayed before playing the selected video for 15 seconds, often accompanied by a VoiceOver or other sounds.

The audio track is the main element of these ads, aiming to reach an audience listening to a specific channel while using the platform in the background.

These audio ads are currently available, but they are still in the beta version, an intermediate release by Google that is fully functional but not yet complete.

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How YouTube Audio Ads work

Google has stated that purchasing can be done through the usual bidding strategy used for other advertisements. You can target your audience using various categories.

youtube audio ads for engagement

Once the video is edited and the audio track uploaded, you will have access to categories to target your audience. Basically, outside the format, these ads offer no new features in terms of campaign management tools that YouTube doesn’t already offer in other ad types.

To recap:

  • YouTube audio ads can be purchased on a cost-per-thousand basis through Google Ads and Display & Video 360, with the amount varying depending on your audience targeting.
  • you have access to traditional audience targeting tools.
  • you can measure brand lift effectiveness through surveys to a group of users exposed to the ads and a control group not exposed to them. You can find the option at Tools > Measurement > Impact Measurement.

If you are already familiar with advertising tools provided by various platforms like Google or social media, setting the parameters for your campaigns based on the audience and strategy will be straightforward and intuitive. If, on the other hand, you want to explore further or are looking for guidance on the topic, download our ebook. 


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Why use YouTube Audio Ads

To understand how to use YouTube audio ads, let’s consider why Google decided to add this new format to its advertisements.

If you look at the list of the top YouTube searches in 2020, it’s clear that artists, bands, and songs dominate the most searched queries. The first 100 searches are related to music streaming.

new age youtube audio ads

During this year of the pandemic, it’s not hard to believe that users have shifted from a purely visual engagement with the platform to one of entertainment while carrying out other activities in the home environment. Users are using podcasts and user-uploaded music as background during their routines.

In short, the closure of theatres, concerts, and clubs has seen an increased consumption of online music channels as home entertainment or even just background companies.

Furthermore, for almost a year now, live music has seen a surge in its streaming on YouTube, thanks to live performances by many artists who, every day, at any time, comfortably from their homes, showcase their talent while users enjoy the show without buying a ticket.

Learn more about YouTube ads with the YouTube Advertising course


Targeting Possibilities

The target audience focuses on users who consume music and podcasts. But let’s provide some more specific insights on the numbers. How many users use YouTube as a music streaming platform, and what are the targeting opportunities?

Google states that over 50% of its logged-in users on YouTube spend at least 10 minutes per day on music video channels. If we consider that the number of users is around 2 billion and that approximately 79% of internet users have a YouTube account, we can deduce that the audience for YouTube audio ads reaches staggering numbers.

With YouTube audio ads, we can reach a very broad target audience and segment it based on interests, music, or popular channels, depending on the country. In short, it’s an extra opportunity for all marketers to get noticed!

Strategic marketing opportunities

What has been mentioned above already helps us understand the first effect of these ads: an exponential increase in reach for a brand.

marketing strategy with youtube

Whether you’re a company or a YouTube channel, you can reach a very wide target audience with lower video production costs.

Furthermore, after months of testing, Google claims to have found that 75% of audio advertisements have led to an increase in brand awareness thanks to this new audio format for its ads.

These are the strategies identified as profitable for all brands that decide to use the beta version of these ads to launch a new campaign format.

Of course, the opportunities for YouTube marketing do not stop here, and we await the intermediate version of audio ads to provide more data and case studies to delve into their impact.

New opportunities: ASMR channels

Another audio content of great interest to YouTube users is ASMR videos, which stands for Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response. These videos are designed to relax, create pleasant sensations, or help with falling asleep through sounds. The success of this YouTube trend seems unstoppable in the United States, where it ranks second with 3,230,000 searches in YouTube’s top queries for 2020, and third with 13,910,000 searches worldwide.

YouTube plans to allow audio advertising on these channels as well. Naturally, considering the relaxing and meditative purpose of these videos, the main question for advertisers is how to integrate without having a counterproductive effect: disturbing the user and associating the brand with a negative sensation.

YouTube Audio Ads: request a free coaching

The role of these audio advertisements is very similar to those that play on the radio while we listen to music on the radio or at home, even just as background company. Google’s goal in recent years has been to transform the video platform into one more similar to video streaming platforms like Netflix or music streaming services like Spotify, emulating their advertising choices for advertisers and subscriptions to a premium account. This shows how YouTube is adapting to the evolving needs of its users, leaving no targeting opportunities unexplored for advertisers.

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