The road less traveled: Internet radio ads & travel marketing

Bear with us here. We promise internet radio ads can be worth your while.

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When planning a digital marketing spend for any travel destination, the top opportunities that immediately come to mind are probably traditional web tools such as your website, click-based advertising, search engine marketing, email campaigns, and other traditional digital tools. What you might be missing, is the incredible promise of internet radio ads. Yes, we’re serious.

Internet radio ads reach big audiences — and we mean BIG:

According to eMarketer, over 50% of the population listens to internet radio. And unlike television, which demands its audience’s full attention, radio listeners can enjoy music for hours while doing other things, multi-tasking, and spending time with others. Forbes estimates that internet radio platforms such as Pandora, Spotify, Apple Music, and Sirius XM have boosted the total possible listening hours worldwide to 59.5 billion per day. The best part? The estimated cap on all that listening time is $2.6 billion of revenue per day in 2017. That is a lot of untapped potential.

Internet radio ads tend to be more difficult to skip or avoid than other forms of media advertising, such as commercials, because listeners are less inclined to flip between radio stations while cooking dinner or in the midst of a conversation. Instead, they’ll simply let the content stream until their music resumes, absorbing your advertisements along the way. Because internet radio is still a relatively new platform for advertising, there seems to be anecdotally less annoyance toward music ads than other forms of promotion because they are part of the normal listening experience and always have been. More importantly, internet radio ads have figured something out that commercial advertising has not: audiences don’t mind seemingly customized, native-style advertisements.

Travel marketing primed for radio thanks to customized listening preferences:

One of the reasons internet radio ads are still reasonably well received hinges on advertisers’ eagerness to align their ads to music channels and types of music that fit their natural customer personas. It’s no accident that you often hear ads for GoToMeeting virtual conferencing software on Sirius XM’s CNN channel. The same applies for travel marketing. Hotel brands often release playlists or music channels on internet radio platforms such as Spotify to deepen visitors’ brand loyalty. For example, The Standard, a luxury hotel brain with properties in New York, Los Angeles, and Miami, promotes a notoriously famous collection of playlists on Spotify that captures the sounds and experiences guests can expect at each location. No matter where you find yourself listening, one of the Standard’s playlists will instantly transport you back to their property … or make you want to book your next trip.

Interestingly enough, Spotify cites audience location, social, and biometric data as a much better predictor of what someone will listen to than their past or self-proclaimed listening preferences. This same data is often used to tailor travel and tourism personas, making the combination of internet radio ads and international marketing a natural fit. Music is often one of the most personal expressions of who we are, so advertising your travel destination alongside artists, genres, or even music venues that fit your audience is a smart move. Learn more about how personas can influence your travel marketing strategy in our recent blog, Why Persona Marketing Is the Key For Your Tourist Destination, explore our services and sign up for a free consultation about how internet ads can send people to your travel destination.

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