What is digital audio?

The Internet Advertising Bureau’s (IAB) Audio Council have defined Digital Audio as “Audio Content Streamed on a Connected Device”. And, the latest figures show that 17 million people are tuning in to Streamed Live Radio, Music Streaming Services, or to On Demand Audio (RAJAR, Midas Spring 2015).

Digital audio, and in particularly online music, has been a part of the UK media mix for well over ten years via the first incarnations of Napster (1999) and Last.fm (2002). However it was arguably the launch of Spotify in 2008/09, coupled with big developments in the smartphone world such as the Apple iPhone (2007), which really brought online audio into the wider media world.


Digital audio services have now become an increasing part of the ever-growing UK media landscape. At their start the services were little more than music juke boxes, allowing users to listen to pretty much any song they chose to. Now, the services are much more developed, delivering customised playlists and being consumed by 30% of the UK population (RAJAR, Midas 4).


Currently there is a plethora of digital audio services offering music and audio streaming, many of which provide both ‘free’ (advertiser funded) and ‘paid for’ options to users. Being able to access the services is easier than ever before as well thanks to desktop, tablet and mobile integration and 4g internet connectivity.