After 2010 and 2011 the Audio Branding Academy conducted the third Audio Branding Barometer as an online study in October 2012. The aim was to gather valid and comparable market data for this industry. 33 agencies from 12 countries participated this year, just about the same as in 2010 and 2011. 24 of them considered themselves as specialized audio branding agencies. The biggest share of responses came from Germany and the US as well as from Great Britain and Brazil.
Audio branding is still a comparably young branch. Approximately 90% of the participating agencies started business during the last 10 years, half of them during the last 6 years. Correspondingly, audio branding is a business of smaller agencies and budgets: 90% of the respondents have less than 20 employees and about 95% of all project budgets were worth less than USD 100,000.
The optimistic and positive trends of the last years are continuing. The overall revenues improved with a median value of 32%. Consequently, most of the participants are slightly optimistic towards next year’s development, while expecting a strong increase in the next 10 years.
The branding aspect of the business is coming more and more to the front. Among others, this can be seen from the distribution of deliverables. On top of this year’s list were audio logos (12.5%), soundscapes (11.8%) and music on hold (8.9%). And in stark contrast to last year , music for commercials (4.3%), jingles (6.9%) and music for industry films (6.0%) have been much less requested by customers.
The Audio Branding Academy asked again for five typical sales arguments. The most common point this year was connected to various aspects of branding with a stress on the holistic component. Emotional impact of sound, last year’s no. 1, came in second this year, followed by audio branding as a means of differentiation and increase of ROI.
Asked for a definition of audio branding, the participants stressed branding aspects of audio branding much more than last year. Reference to the visual domain, still quite common in the 2011 survey, nearly disappeared this year. It seems that a new self-confidence of audio branding is emerging. As one respondent put it: “The real bass to the brand”.
A comprehensive documentation of the survey will be included in the Audio Branding Academy Yearbook 2012/2013 to be published beginning 2013.