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Just under 8 in 10 Adults in Ireland listen to Digital Audio

Latest research reveals that just under 8 in 10 adults (18+) in Ireland listen to Digital Audio in an average week

IAB Ireland’s Digital Audio Council commissioned Red C Research to conduct a fifth wave of Listen Up Ireland – a deep-dive into Digital Audio in Ireland.

The research, which has tracked Digital Audio since 2019, specifically looked at: the Incidence & demographics of using Digital Audio, the channels used, time spent listening, devices used, reasons to engage with and attitudes towards Digital Audio.

The key findings are:

  • Digital audio consumption has grown vs the last wave in October 2022, with 78% of adults in Ireland consuming digital audio – this represents an additional 280,000 weekly listeners with weekly reach now at 3.06m adults. 
  • The Demographic profile of digital audio users remains similar to that in 2022, with 18-44s, those working full time and ABC1s over-indexing versus the general population.   The 65+ demographic has also increased listening (+2%) since the last wave.
  • 14% of digital audio listeners (429,218 weekly) don’t listen to radio on an FM device, up from 11% in the last survey. This is higher for younger age groups at 27% for 18-24s and 17% for 25-34s and for listeners of on demand music at 16% and podcasts at 14%.
  • The frequency of consumption (daily / weekly / monthly) of digital audio has increased this year.  Over a third of digital audio users or 1.1M adults are listening daily (+3% on 2022 levels). Just under 9 in 10 adults (+4% on 2022 levels) are listening weekly.
  • The growth in listening is shared across all digital audio formats. The most popular formats used weekly are on demand music at 69%, online radio at 46% and podcasts at 38%.
  • Smartphone continues to dominate with 54% of digital audio users declaring it their most used device, especially among younger cohorts (73%), and among podcast listeners (63%).   This speaks to the engaging and versatile nature of digital audio as a medium.  Smart speaker is the next most used device at 15% followed by connected car at 12%. 
  • The top 3 reasons why digital audio users engage with the medium are: Entertainment, an accompaniment to daily tasks and relaxation, with digital audio as an ‘accompaniment to daily life’ seeing another considerable increase this year (+6%).
  • Looking to the future, approx. 3 in 10 expect to increase their engagement with online music and podcasts (32% and 27% respectively) in the next year. While 1 in 5 (21%) claim the same about online radio. 
  • It appears that there is an increasing willingness to listen to ads in exchange for great free content with over a third now happy to do so (36% up from 32% in October 2022). This indicates a positive shift in attitudes towards growing acceptance of free content being supported by ads.
  • The power of the format as a content discovery method remains impressive. 41% agree that listening to digital audio has introduced them to content that they were previously unaware of. 

Sara Eslami, Director, Red C Research commented ‘The results from the 2024 wave of our ‘Listen Up Ireland’ research show the surge in engagement with digital audio seen during and immediately post pandemic is here to stay. 8 in 10 in Ireland now choosing digital audio. Younger adults continue to embrace digital audio at an impressive rate; a trend that also extends to those in full time employment and higher income brackets, making it an exceptionally effective channel.’ 

Maeve O’Meara, Programme Director at IAB Ireland commented ‘Our Digital Audio Council has been tracking Digital Audio growth since 2019, and with almost 8 in 10 now listening on an average week, the Audio market is thriving.   This growth is also now being reflected in Digital Audio Adspend as Advertisers learn more and embrace this medium.   We will continue to support this market with best practice learnings and insights.’ 

You can see the full deck and infographic below. Enquries to maeve@iabireland.ie

Third Party Cookie Deprecation – Time for Action!

The phasing out of third party cookies has begun and complete deprecation is now fast approaching.
The Irish digital ad industry cannot put off addressing the significant impact of deprecation and identifying solutions.

Publishers, agencies and advertisers across the larger EU markets are actively testing, sharing feedback with Privacy Sandbox. IAB Ireland’s recent webinar with Tony Katsur, CEO IAB Tech Lab and Gaby Jenkins, Partner Manager, Privacy Sandbox Partnerships focused on Tech Lab’s analysis of Privacy Sandbox as well as Sandbox resources to assist companies in their preparation for deprecation. 

There is no silver bullet or one catch all solution so it is essential that companies can answer the following questions:

1. What data partners are collecting directly/indirectly?
2. How it is collected?- Identify the on device technologies that are being used by partners.
3. What data is exchanged between advertiser and partner and can audiences be matched/linked using 2 sets of data?
4. What lawful basis is the partner relying on for personal data processing?
5. How is consent obtained and who is responsible for obtaining it?

It is also essential that you familiarise yourselves with the 3 potential solutions:

1. Linked audiences – uses user-provided data like email address or name or address to link publisher and advertiser audiences – this replicates cookie-like functionality – universal or unified ID solutions.
2. Unlinked audiences – no data is exchanged between publishers, advertisers or at any part in the process – Contextual targeting.
3. Browser or operating system linked audiences – ability to target and measure audiences on 1:many rather than 1:1 basis – grouped and anonymised.

IAB Ireland like all the IAB chapters will continue to share relevant Privacy Sandbox updates and testing learnings.

Useful Resources:

About Privacy Sandbox: Check out this very useful overview from IAB Europe – explaining the various terminology and sharing links for testing and feedback.

This opinion piece by James Chandler, Chief Marketing Officer, IAB UK is a useful call to action to share with your teams and business leaders to ensure that your company embraces this challenge and has an actionable deprecation strategy in place.

A Google Privacy Sandbox Resource for understanding third party cookie dependencies which may include advertising, but other use cases as well such as embedding videos, logging in to name a few, and helping sites to prepare for third party cookie deprecation can be found here.  This resource can be used to identify what third party cookies are being set, and by whom, and for what purpose.  The instructions in this resource outline how to test sites to understand how critical user journeys might be impacted by third party cookie deprecation.

15 February 2024 – The Privacy Sandbox team issued a response to the IAB Tech Lab Report. A summary of the Privacy Sandbox response is available here. The full 35-page response is here

The Digital Services Act – Resources for IAB Ireland members

The Digital Services Act regulates the provision of digital services in the EU and applies to online intermediaries and platforms. 

The primary goal of the DSA is to enhance the trust of both consumers and business users when engaging with online platforms – including the products, services, and advertisements users encounter on these platforms. 

What does the DSA mean for the digital ad industry? 

Article 26 of the DSA has most relevance for the digital advertising industry. This Article specifies thetransparency requirements required for Advertising; these obligations apply to Online Platforms, including ‘Very Large Online Platforms’ (VLOPs), as defined by the Digital Services Act. 

Online platforms are defined as user-generated content platforms and online marketplaces which bring together sellers and consumers. 

‘Very large’ means having more than 45 million monthly active users in the EU. VLOP status is designated by the European Commission

From February 17th, 2024, under Article 26 of the DSA, Online Platforms are required to provide the following information:

  • That the ad is indeed an ad;
  • The identity of the advertiser;
  • The identity of the party that financed the ad, if it is different from the advertiser;
  • Information about the “main parameters” used to determine the recipient of the ad;
  • Where applicable, information about any means users may have at their disposal to change those main parameters.

Additionally, online platforms need to provide users who publish content (e.g. influencers) with the functionality to declare whether their content is or contains commercial communications.  

What is the IAB doing to help the industry comply?

Since the information required about ads is often held by intermediaries, IAB Europe has been working on a technical solution to help online platforms adhere to transparency obligations under the DSA, which is already in force for VLOPs and comes into effect for other entities on February 17th, 2024. This approach aims to make sure that information is available in a standardised manner and is passed on through the chain so platforms can implement the DSA transparency requirements.

On January 22nd, 2024, IAB Europe published its Implementation Guidelines for the EU’s Digital Services Act (DSA) to help online platforms meet the legal requirements for user-facing information disclosures. 

To facilitate this process, IAB Tech Lab and the IAB Europe Taskforce have standardised data collection, compilation, and transport with new technical specifications and implementation guidelines. The technical specification, hosted by IAB Tech Lab here, provides data formats and a mechanism for the transport of the data that are required to enable the advertising industry to implement relevant DSA transparency information. This solution should be adaptable across most relevant use cases, including programmatic and non-programmatic media buys, and for channels including desktop web, mobile (web/app), video, and CTV. 

Read more about the guidance and how it has been developed here

Webinar Recording: IAB Tech Lab – Roadmap plus analysis of Google Privacy Sandbox


Tony Katsur, CEO IAB Techlab, shared with us the Tech Lab Roadmap as well as the recently published IAB Techlab analysis of Google Privacy Sandbox

IAB Tech Lab released its analysis of Google Privacy Sandbox on 6th February, 2024. The document is intended to inform the industry about the changes and how digital advertising will function in the Privacy Sandbox, create a call to action for industry to start testing and engage with Google Chrome team and provide Google Chrome team with industry feedback. Industry participants are encouraged to actively contribute feedback and insights during the 45-day public comment period. To review and comment on the full report, please visit here.

Gaby Jenkins, Partner Manager, Privacy Sandbox Partnerships contributed to the Q&A and reiterated Tony’s encouragement to engage and start testing relevant Privacy Sandbox APIs. The resource Gaby referenced for understanding third party cookie dependencies which may include advertising, but other use cases as well such as embedding videos, logging in to name a few, and helping sites to prepare for third party cookie deprecation can be found here.  This resource can be used to identify what third party cookies are being set, and by whom, and for what purpose.  The instructions in this resource outline how to test sites to understand how critical user journeys might be impacted by third party cookie deprecation.

Update – 15 February 2024 – the Privacy Sandbox team have issued a response to the IAB Tech Lab report. A summary is available here. The full 35-page response is here

You can view the webinar recording below:

Webinar Recording – Agency Predictions 2024


Each new year brings the annual focus on advertising/media/tech predictions.

In this Digital Reboot webinar, in partnership with Mediahuis, our panel of agency members discussed the key trends, challenges and opportunities for 2024, and will share their agency predictions for the year ahead! 

The webinar took place on Wednesday 24th January, 2024, and was streamed live from the Mediahuis multi-media studio in Dublin.

The discussion was moderated by:

Adrian Weckler, Technology Editor, Mediahuis | Irish Independent & Sunday Independent

With panelists:

  • Claire O’Brien, Performance Business Director, Omnicom Media Group
  • Conor Murphy, Managing Director, Core Performance
  • Sarah-Jane Lowes, Head of Digital and Social, Droga 5
  • Donagh Humphreys, Head of Social and Digital Innovation, Thinkhouse

Watch back the Recording!

Webinar Recording – Latest Guidance on Social Media Advertising for Influencers


On October, 27th, 2023, the Advertising Standards Authority for Ireland (ASAI) and the Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (CCPC) published fresh guidance for Irish influencers on the clear labelling of ads on social media. The comprehensive and accessible guidance addresses paid promotion, items ‘gifted’ by brands or PR agencies, and the advertising of own-brand products and services.

The joint guidance has been developed following extensive research, including experiments with eye-tracking technology and a survey of 500 social media users. A number of influencers were also asked to review the new guidance and provide feedback to the CCPC.

IAB Ireland hosted a webinar in partnership with the ASAI and CCPC to explain the new guidance on Thursday, 11th January, 2024, with presentations from:

Sara MacNamara, Senior Research Analyst,
Competition & Consumer Protection Commission

Orla Twomey, Chief Executive,
The Advertising Standards Authority for Ireland

You can watch back the webinar recording below alongside the decks presented – please note the information provided in this webinar was for the purposes of guidance only, and does not constitute legal advice.

IAB Europe’s Guide to Attention


Joan Hallinan, Media Experience Director, Havas Media Ireland and Co-chair of IAB Ireland’s Advertising Effectiveness Council

Attention has been a prominent subject in the marketing industry for quite some time.

Irish advertisers, agencies, and IAB Ireland have taken a leading role in researching the significance and impacts of measuring, reporting, and analysing Attention across different channels and formats within the digital marketing ecosystem.

Attention stands as a crucial metric; without it, advertising impact is non-existent. In an era dominated by distractions, capturing Attention proves to be the most challenging yet pivotal aspect of advertising. Without people’s focus, all other elements in advertising become irrelevant.

Multiple studies conducted highlight that Attention plays a crucial role in fostering recall, enhancing mental availability, and ultimately influencing brand choice and is a key driver for Brand growth. For marketing efforts to be effective, they need to be memorable in order to elevate the mental availability of a brand. The connection between visual attention and memory is evident, with attention playing a substantial role in brand retention.

Acknowledged as a precursor or gatekeeper to other mental processes (Rossiter and Percy, 2017), Attention in advertising serves as the key to unlocking and shaping viewers’ memory structures. Consequently, advertising must draw ample attention to unlock the gateway and impact the memory structures of viewers.

IAB Ireland is pleased to present the IAB Europe Guide to Attention in Digital Marketing. This resource serves as a valuable tool for Irish advertisers and brands, offering insights into essential aspects of Attention. Emphasizing the significance of Attention, the guide covers
available tools for measurement, their use cases, and optimal strategies for integrating Attention into digital advertising campaigns.

IAB Ireland other resources on Attention include:

  • Research to measure attention on Irish Publisher sites – in partnership with Lumen Research
  • National Lottery work and research on Attention presented at IAB Connect H2 2021 and H1 2022

IAB Ireland Pilot Mentoring Programme


IAB Ireland launched a Pilot Mentoring Programme in Autumn 2023, with 9 mentoring partnerships working together over a 6 month period.

This is an exciting new initiative bringing more value to our members.

The objectives of the programme:

  • The objective of this programme is to facilitate executives with 4-5 years experience from member companies to learn from more experienced members from other IAB Ireland member companies across the digital ecosystem.  The mentor will offer support and guidance and share skills and knowledge with the mentee ensuring better understanding and knowledge of different sides of the Industry.  (ęg. an agency team member might mentor a publisher team member, platform team member mentoring a brand etc.)
  • IAB Ireland’s mentoring programme fosters collaboration and drives value for members with the opportunity to enhance the development of skills and knowledge among their teams.
  • The mentoring programme can help address specific challenges and opportunities for mentees within the digital advertising/marketing sector.
  • The USP of IAB IE Mentoring Programme is that it is focused on knowledge sharing of the Irish digital ad industry and fostering collaboration and developing personal skills to enhance your digital ad career rather than mentoring based on the individual’s specific career needs/challenges within a member organisation as this will be dealt with by in company mentoring schemes.

What are the benefits for both Mentors and Mentees:

The programme will allow mentors to enhance their leadership skills in the digital advertising industry by providing guidance, motivation and support to their mentees, and sharing their own knowledge with mentees as well as gaining a fresh perspective.The mentor’s role is to listen and guide, and share their knowledge and perspective of the Digital Advertising Industry – to broaden the mentee’s knowledge.Mentees are the drivers of the relationship and should have personal objectives and goals in mind when signing up.   The mentee can expect a mentor who will listen and guide, share knowledge and their own experience.    The programme is designed to enhance the knowledge of the mentee in the Digital Advertising space, and to help them develop the personal skills to enhance their career. 

Our Guidelines for a successful Mentor / Mentee relationship:

  • Be clear about Goals – what do you want to learn / gain from the relationship?
  • Bearing in mind your experience may be limited to date, what skills and knowledge do you need to develop your career further in the digital advertising industry?   What would help you to gain a broader /  360 view of the industry?
  • Be clear at the start of each meeting, what the objective is.  Have a focus for each discussion,  prepare specific questions or specific work challenge, a new experience etc. 
  • Both parties should commit to:
    • Being open and honest. 
    • Being open and active listeners.
    • Keep confidences.
    • Honour their commitments, including any meetings.  Be respectful of each others time.
    • Enjoy the experience!

IAB Ireland facilitated a one hour virtual workshop with a professional coach for mentors and a second one hour workshop for mentees – this was to outline how the programme will work and what each participant can expect from the programme. We also required both parties to sign a Mentoring agreement / Code of Conduct, and as this is a pilot programme, we will be seeking high level feedback from both the mentor and mentee at the end of the programme. 

This feedback will help determine if we will roll out this programme again in 2024.

IAB Ireland – 2023 Events – Recordings & Decks


Below is a list of our 2023 events and webinars – and recordings / decks where we can share them.

Digital Reboot Webinar – Agency Predictions 2023 – Jan 25thIn partnership with Mediahuis

Moderated by Adrian Weckler, Technology Editor, Mediahuis | Irish Independent & Sunday Independent

With Panelists:

  • Colm Sherwin, Core
  • Emma O’Doherty, Group M
  • Rachel Ray, Dentsu
  • Ian Nunoo, Javelin

Recording is here

Industry Snapshot Webinar – Reach – Feb 8th

New webinar series offering members the chance to present at a short 20-30 minute webinar on their innovations, insights. 

  • Hugh Crowther and Alan Curley, Reach presented: Understanding your customers in a cookieless world

Recording is here 

Retail Media Focus – Meeting for Publisher & Agency members – April 21st

Daniel Knapp shared his insights and trends on the Retail Media – with a specific emphasis on the opportunities for publishers and agencies within this growing format. 

IAB’s Agency and Publisher councils were invited together with their colleagues to join this meeting. 

IAB Ireland Digital Dinner – May 10th

  • Guest Speaker Brian Moloney, Customer Marketing Manager, Three Ireland:

Beyond Mobile: Accessibility at the heart of Three’s digital journey

IAB Ireland workshops for Retail Ireland members – April 26th & May 3rd

Two x 1 hour zoom webinars – 

Theme: Retail Digital Bootcamp

Speakers included:

  • Michal Sirotkin, Google re: GA4
  • Katie Yorke, TikTok re: sales on social
  • Doug Farrell, DMG Media on Creative Retail Advertising
  • Christine Hughes, Meta on Unlocking AI for retailers

Recordings are here

Industry Snapshot – May 18th

Second webinar in this series offering members the chance to present at a short 20-30 minute webinar on their innovations, insights. 

  • Alessandro Pagani, Google presented on the transition from UA to GA4.  No recording available.

IAB Connect H1 2023 – May 16th

Theme: Navigating the New Now

Presenters / Panelists:

  • Daniel Knapp, Chief Economist, IAB Europe
  • Avril Collins, Corporate Affairs Director, Heineken Ireland
  • Richard Colwell, CEO, Red C
  • Katey McElroy, Strategic Partnership Manager, UKI, TikTok
  • Dave Lenny, Head of Innovation, dentsu International
  • Rob Timony, Head of audioXi,  Bauer Media Audio Ireland
  • Meabh Connellan, Senior Director: Digital Strategy, Spark Foundry
  • Adam Taylor, Head of Media Experience, Havas Media Ireland
  • Karl Kavanagh, Head of Digital and Publishing – NGN – News UK & Ireland
  • Niamh Donagh, Director, Global Partnerships, OPG, Google
  • Ruth Ryan, Digital Brand & Advertising Manager, SSE Airtricity

Presentations here

Sponsors: Google, Meta, PwC, Quantcast, TikTok

IAB Ireland Industry Snapshot Webinar – with TikTok – Oct 11th

Third webinar in this series offering members the chance to present at a short 20-30 minute webinar on their innovations, insights.

  • Speaker: Emily Flanagan, Account Manager, UKI, TikTok – The Secrets to Unlocking Creativity on TikTok and Search Ads

Recording here

IAB Ireland workshops for Retail Ireland members – Oct 12th & 19th

Two x 1 hour zoom webinars – 

Theme: Maximising Digital Advertising Effectiveness for Black Friday

Speakers included:

  • Amy Owens, Google
  • Lauren Smith, Meta
  • Camila Franco Soler, TikTok
  • Joan Hallinan, Havas Media Ireland

Recording here.

Digital Dinner – in partnership with Mediahuis – RDS, Dublin – Nov 9th

  • Guest Speaker: Carol McCaghy, Marketing Manager, Tayto Snacks – Making Mr Tayto unmissable to a Gen Z Consumer

Sustainability Webinar – Nov 9th

In partnership with IAB Europe & IAB France. 

Objective: To share the practical steps our Industry can take to become more sustainable.

Recording here.

IAB Connect H2 – Nov 16th

Theme: Mapping the future of Measurement

Topics: Attention, Measurement, AI, Innovation,  Brand Building, Sustainability.

Presenters / Panelists: 

  • Cecile Blanc, Head of Growth, Group M Nexus
  • Johanna Schmidt, Director, Data & Measurement EMEA, Google
  • Gavin Byers, Head of Agency & Key Client Sales, Mediahuis
  • Olly Sewell, Director, UK / IE & Nordics, Meta
  • Ross O’Mullane, Head of Digital, Energia
  • Clare O’Reilly, Client Manager, Core Creative
  • Mark James, Director of Business & Strategy, Converge
  • Tom Roach, VP Brand Strategy, Jellyfish
  • Doug Farrell, Group Head of Digital Strategy, DMG Media
  • Susan Daly, Head of Marketing Intelligence, Omnicom Media Group
  • Tracy Lynch, Digital Marketing Manager, Bord Gais
  • Alexia Nuessli, Regional Sales Leader – SMB DACH CE, TikTok

Sponsors: Google, Meta, PwC, Quantcast, TikTok

240 Attendees – Decks here

IAB Connect H2 2023 – 16th November – Presentations

IAB Connect H2 showcased innovative measurement strategies utilising AI, focused on maximising attention and brand building. We also shared the latest learnings from agencies, platforms and publishers and as our industry dedicates itself to a more Sustainable future, a very timely case study from Energia on digital advertising carbon measurement.

Event Decks (relevant links where decks can’t be shared)

Johanna Schmidt, Director – Data & Measurement EMEA, Google

Summary: Powering growth with measurement & AI in a privacy first world

On generative AI: McKinsey predicts that generative AI is forecasted to add $2-$4 Trillion in market value to the economy globally in the years ahead (across 60+ use cases in sales, services, marketing…).

On predictive AI: Examples:

On Measurement4 ways to move forward with confidence in a privacy-first world, using AI powered solutions; and Measurement considerations for 2024 and beyond.

On Experimentation: Harvard Business review found that advertisers who ran 15 experiments in a given year saw about 30% higher ad performance that year, compared to advertisers who did not experiment. 

For more, please contact Eoghan Phipps, Country Manager, Ireland & Sector Lead, UK Large Client Sales · Google

Cécile Blanc, Head of Growth, Group M Nexus

The opportunities for AI in media buying

Cécile shared the opportunities AI offers in the programmatic ecosystem.

Mark James, Director of Business & Strategy, Converge

The Power of Positive Measurement: A Practical Toolkitfor Irish Advertiser

Gavin Byers, Head of Agency and Key Client Sales, Mediahuis

Advertising Effectiveness – Innovation & Measurement – A Publisher’s perspective

Tom Roach, VP Brand Strategy, Jellyfish

Brand-building creativity in digital

Ross O’Mullane, Head of Digital, Energia Group

Clare O’Reilly, Client Manager, Core Creative

Building Sustainability into Energia’s Ad campaigns