Marketing

Time for Pharma to Get Serious About Streaming Audio

Want to be where your consumers are? Then get serious about more investment in audio.  We have the insights to help you choose the best partner.
 

Did you know that the human brain is wired for sound?

It’s true. We are deeply connected to sound.  More than just an emotional driver, music, voices, soundscapes can impact our physiology, shape our perceptions, evoke memories, frame meaning and influence our behavior. In fact, our brains perceive sound two and a half to four times faster than it perceives visuals1, so before we’re thinking about a sound we’ve just heard, we’re already feeling something about it.  We think about what we see, but we feel what we hear.     

Our connection to the auditory also contributes to our entertainment consumption choices. 76% of Americans2 are choosing to stream audio. That percentage is equal to 216 million consumers streaming audio monthly,3  while 135M (47% of the U.S. population) are streaming podcast content.4  In fact, Americans are spending nearly 5 hours per day listening to digital audio (almost 2 hours longer per day than listeners tuning into AM/FM radio). 5 Consumers are spending 31% of their time with audio, yet pharma marketers are spending less than 1% of their media budgets in audio.6  That’s an enormous miss if you want to ensure that your brand is where your consumers are.

While time spent and audience scale speak to the high value of digital audio, we want to help brands make the leap by sharing deeper insights about our own audience. 

Let’s look at just 5 takeaways from our 2024 pharma audience research study.

1.     Listening for Body, Mind and Spirit

Year after year our audience tells us the degree to which they’re listening to our platforms (both music and podcasts) to benefit their physical, mental and emotional health.  87% (A18+) to 92% (A65+) of our audience streams our music to benefit all aspects of their health7, while 48% (A18+ and Parents), 45% (A35-64) to 47% (A45-54) are listening to our podcasts for the same beneficial reasons.8  This speaks to our best in class environment suitability and to our listeners having the right mindset for hearing from pharma brands.

 

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2.   Leaning In

Speaking of the right mindsets, 70% of our Pandora listeners, 74% of our SoundCloud listeners and 76% of our podcast listeners want to hear from pharma brands.9  Half of our listeners want to hear useful information about side effects10, and over half of our audience said that ISI in pharma ads is helpful and informative.11 Importantly, this audience study did NOT require that research respondents were currently taking a prescription RX, which makes these results even more incredibly impressive)!
 

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3.     Preference for Turning Down the Visual

The typical pleasant pharma visual in TV/OTT/CTV/OLV ads that accompanies the ad’s audible safety information is thought to be misleading by nearly HALF of our listeners (and a full 62% of our African American listeners).12  Only 7% of our listeners find that visual accompaniment to ISI in video ads comforting.13  Turning down the visual in favor of audio can help prevent the disconnect with your target audience.  The  very best visual is always what we create between our ears.

4.      A Vocal Audience

Looking for consumers who are vocal with their HCPs about prescription brands?  We’ve got them. 3 in every 4 listeners told us they are very comfortable voicing their opinions about RXs to their HCPs.14  Our listeners take charge of decisions around their own health. Before speaking to their HCPs, 7 in every 10 listeners researches the condition they think they might have, the RX they think they may need to treat that condition, and the side effects of that RX.15  These actions take place prior to their conversations with their HCPs16.  This is precisely the action-oriented, highly vocal consumers that DTC pharma brands want to reach with their messages. 
 

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5.     Trusted Environment

Today more than ever, the environment with which your brand is aligned matters. Trusted environments are becoming more difficult to find for brands and consumers (X’s recent policy revamp allowing more explicitly adult content as a timely example).17 In recent audience research, our listeners said they consider our streaming environment to be:

  • 1.6X more authentic and trustworthy than streaming video18
  • 2X more authentic and trustworthy and Linear TV,19 
  • 5.3X more authentic and trustworthy than social media,20
  • 6X more authentic and trustworthy than AM/FM Radio.21
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It’s time to turn up the digital audio, tune in to SiriusXM Media’s highly valuable audiences, and pump up the volume for your brand’s success.

 




1 Developmental Psychology; Reaction Time, 8:268-72, 1973, BJ Kemp

2 Edison Research Report, Infinite Dial Study, Q1, 2024

3 Edison Research Report, Infinite Dial Study, Q1, 2024

4 Edison Research Report, Infinite Dial Study, Q1, 2024

5 Edison Research Report, Share of Ear, Q1, 2024

6 WARC; MediaRadar, Jan.-Dec., 2023

7 SiriusXM Media Audience Research Study, Pandora, SoundCloud, SiriusXM Podcasts, Healthcare, Q4, 2023

8 SiriusXM Media Audience Research Study, Pandora, SoundCloud, SiriusXM Podcasts, Healthcare, Q4, 2023

9 SiriusXM Media, Audience Research Study, Pandora, SouncdCloud, SiriusXM Podcasts, Pharma, 2024

10 SiriusXM Media, Audience Research Study, Pandora, SouncdCloud, SiriusXM Podcasts, Pharma, 2024

11 SiriusXM Media, Audience Research Study, Pandora, SouncdCloud, SiriusXM Podcasts, Pharma, 2024

12 SiriusXM Media, Audience Research Study, Pandora, SouncdCloud, SiriusXM Podcasts, Pharma, 2024

13 SiriusXM Media, Audience Research Study, Pandora, SouncdCloud, SiriusXM Podcasts, Pharma, 2024

14 SiriusXM Media, Audience Research Study, Pandora, SouncdCloud, SiriusXM Podcasts, Pharma, 2024

15 SiriusXM Media, Audience Research Study, Pandora, SouncdCloud, SiriusXM Podcasts, Pharma, 2024

16 SiriusXM Media, Audience Research Study, Pandora, SouncdCloud, SiriusXM Podcasts, Pharma, 2024

17 Tech Crunch, ‘X Tweaks Rules to Formally Allow Adult Content’, June 3, 2024

18 SiriusXM Media, User Study, Pandora, SiriusXM Podcasts, 2023

19 SiriusXM Media, User Study, Pandora, SiriusXM Podcasts, 2023

20 SiriusXM Media, User Study, Pandora, SiriusXM Podcasts, 2023

21 SiriusXM Media, User Study, Pandora, SiriusXM Podcasts, 2023

The editorial staff had no role in this post's creation.