The move puts the Google owned giant in direct competition with the likes of Spotify and Pandora, as people increasing shift to podcasts and music streaming over traditional radio.

Audio ads, currently in beta, help advertisers to extend their brand story to even more relevant moments, whether YouTube is being watched front and centre or playing as the backdrop to daily life.

YouTube has also launched dynamic music lineups, dedicated groups of music-focused channels across popular music genres such as Latin music, K-pop and hip-hop, as well as moods or interests like fitness, so advertisers can easily reach music fans globally and drive results for their business.

In a blog post, product manager Melissa Hsieh Nikolic said the feature, which is still in beta, was “designed to connect your brand with audiences in engaged and ambient listening on YouTube.”

“Audio ads are characterized by creatives where the audio soundtrack plays the starring role in delivering your message. The visual component is typically a still image or simple animation,” Nikolic added. “In our months of alpha testing, we found that more than 75% of measured audio ad campaigns on YouTube drove a significant lift in brand awareness.”

Among other things, Google says the benefits of audio ads are efficient reach at a low cost, simplified media buying process, enhanced targeting and measurement features, and lower production costs.

Music video streaming is at an all-time high on YouTube. More than 2 billion people come to YouTube each month to experience music — more than 50 percent of logged-in viewers who consume music content in a day consume more than 10 minutes of music. YouTube Music has more than 70 million official tracks, more than any other music service.

For advertisers, this shift has created new opportunities to reach attentive, engaged audiences through digital music content. Months of alpha testing found that more than 75 percent of measured audio ad campaigns on YouTube drove a significant lift in brand awareness

To learn more about audio ads on YouTube, click here

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