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Most digital audio listeners don’t mind ads in exchange for free access to stations, and many are willing to share personal information for more relevant messages, finds TargetSpot [pdf] in a new report. Not only do these listeners appear generally open to advertising, but some also ascribe value to branded stations and playlists. For example, more than one-quarter believe branded stations improve their perceptions of an advertiser (30%) and are more inclined to buy a product from an advertiser that sponsors a branded internet radio station (27%).

Digital audio listeners do like to get something in return for their receptiveness to advertising, though. About 6 in 10 said they like to get coupons, special offers, or discounts from advertisers, and close to 4 in 10 will like an ad they hear in order to receive discounts or promotions for the product or service.

Targeted Ads: Not a Problem

Details from TargetSpot’s “Attitudes Towards Digital Audio Advertising” indicate that almost two-thirds of listeners are comfortable receiving ads based on their personal profiles, and 7 in 10 are comfortable receiving ads based on their internet radio usage and/or content preference. In fact, 35% of those who have responded to an ad believe they were personally targeted. That figures is higher among key demographics such as 18-24-year-olds (39%), 25-34-year-olds (41%), and those with household income of more than $100k (43%).

Interestingly, 27% of respondents said they wouldn’t mind getting ads on a mobile device for products and services they are interested in based on their physical location. This indicates a higher acceptance for this form of targeting than has been seen among mobile users in general: a UC Berkeley study released in July found that 92% of mobile owners would either probably (22%) or definitely (70%) not allow their cell phone provider to use their location to tailor ads to them.

Relevant Ads Provoke Response

Given their general openness to advertising, even targeted, it’s perhaps unsurprising that digital audio listeners also have ad recall and response rates. In a May 2012 study, TargetSpot found 58% of respondents to recall having seen or heard an internet radio ad in the 30 days prior to the survey, while of those, 44% said they responded to it. Both those percentages were up from last year.

In its most recent study, TargetSpot identifies listeners’ most common reasons cited for responding: looking for more information (23%); finding the ad interesting or entertaining (20%); and responding to a special offer (15%). Of note, relevance builds response among the hesitant: slightly more than half of those who don’t normally click on ads report that a relevant ad might entice them to later visit the advertiser’s website.

About the Data: TargetSpot’s Digital Audio Benchmark and Trend Study, 2012 is based on an online survey of Internet Radio listeners in the US. The study fielded January 7, 2012 through January 17, 2012. The sample population included 1,000 US Internet Radio listeners (ages 18+) in broadband households who listen to the medium once a month to daily.

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