Case Study: Exploring “Audio Rituals” with Audacy

Audacy Case STudy

Case Study: Exploring “Audio Rituals” with Audacy

Unique blend of methodologies uncovers when listeners are tuning in during their daily lives

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“Alter Agents is our go-to partner when we need to dig into complex, multi-modal market research work that helps us deeply understand our complicated audience. The team at Alter Agents isn’t afraid to try new things to help build holistic, deep insights. With their leadership and support, we have conducted several studies together including using agile neuroscience, advanced analytics, and in-depth qualitative research.” Idil Cakim, SVP, Head of Research & Insights, Audacy


Audacy, the second largest audio company in the United States, is continually seeking deep insights on how people connect, engage and interact with audio content. With broadcast audio, streaming and podcast platforms, Audacy pursues a comprehensive market research program to help advertisers and marketers understand how audio can become a powerful tool in reaching key audiences. 

For a recent project, the company turned to the Alter Agents team, tapping into our expertise in adaptive media research and our deep experience in cultivating consumer understanding. Together, we approached the question “How much of a role does audio play in everyday life?”, blending methodologies to better understand engagement, attention and connection among audio listeners. 



Audacy wanted to understand the role of audio, and how it fit into the rituals that make up people’s lives – their commutes, workouts, preparing for the day ahead and other daily activities. To do this effectively, a simple standalone survey would not be sufficient. They needed to deeply understand the ways in which audio consumers are engaging with audio holistically across their personal and professional lives, in home and out of home – how they navigate their share of listening time and their types of listening rituals. The company needed research that could:

  • Unveil in-depth insights into how audio listeners are spending their time and passion points as well as programming their audio rituals and personal primetime;
  • Contextualize how audio is a prime activity and companion during rituals from doing makeup to cooking and commuting;
  • Uncover how consumers are thinking about time and making tradeoffs for that time with their favorite media sources; and
  • Evaluate how new expansion targets can be reached and engaged through Audacy’s platform to expand its audience.


Working in partnership with Alter Agents, Audacy set up a multi-modal study to accomplish these ambitious goals, and gain the insights they needed. We landed on a methodology for this study that contained three key components: 

  • Quantitative: 15-minute online survey of 1,005 individuals, including core* and expansion** group listeners 
  • Ethnographies: 5-day mobile diary exercise among 48 individuals who audio listeners
  • In-Depth Interviews: 45-minute-long interviews conducted among 15 individuals who are weekly OTA listeners, streaming OTA listeners and podcast listeners (core)

Because we specialize in blending multiple methodologies and data sources, our approach can deliver insights that can bridge knowledge gaps. By employing a multi-modal, adaptive design, we’re able to deliver both attitudinal and behavioral results to determine critical metrics such as audience attention, engagement, context, receptivity and brand lift. Audacy tapped into our expertise for this study, and garnered some surprising results. 


The research revealed a seismic shift in the media landscape. The study clearly illustrated that audio is no longer just a companion medium, showing that individuals intentionally carve out routine time in their day – while getting coffee, commuting, or relaxing in bed – to tune in to audio. Further, while engaging in these “audio rituals,” listeners are more likely to follow related audio ads to make purchase decisions.

  • 74% of U.S. adults set aside time for listening in their day
  • 40% say they organize their day around audio content 
  • Aligning ads with these daily rituals can boost purchase intent and awareness

The study identified 11 key moments throughout a listener’s day that present brands with the most opportune times to connect with engaged audio consumers. It unveils the huge potential for brands to sync their media plans, become part of these rituals and connect more deeply in moments where consumers are more open to hearing brand messaging. This knowledge positioned Audacy to be the thought leader in audio content and engagement.




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