How Audio is Becoming the Most Powerful Storytelling Medium

At this year’s Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity, audio undoubtedly took centerstage. Cannes Lions celebrates the finest in creative storytelling, and audio continues to deliver out-of-the-box premium storytelling experiences.

Since its earliest days, audio has provoked the audience’s imagination. When they tune in, listeners use their mind to create their own visual story to match the audio, invigorating a deeper impact than any other medium. From the beginning, broadcast radio captivated audiences with radio soaps and sports broadcasts, and, later, with music and talk radio. Since then, we’ve come so far. From podcasts to immersive comic fantasy lands (such as SiriusXM Marvel), digital audio delivers content on any passion or interest imaginable—and the space is continuing to innovate.

One of the best examples is this year’s Grand Prix winner of the Cannes Lions award for radio and audio. Sick Beats created a music-powered airway clearance vest for patients with cystic fibrosis that uses vibrations to loosen mucus in patient’s lungs. What was once a burdening part of the day, is now a much more fun and enjoyable experience thanks to the use of audio.

Brands Can Tap Into this Storytelling Superpower, Too

There’s no denying it: audio creates highly memorable connections and amplifies any brand story through earbuds, cars, wearables—even medical vests. There are limitless possibilities to combine music, voices, and sounds, and take listeners on an immersive sonic journey that truly elevates their day-to-day.

The most effective marketing campaigns put audio at their core, playing just as a crucial role as visual. Rather than being tacked onto the end of a video or digital campaign, audio deserves independent planning and its own creative. Going back to the Sick Beat’s vest; audio was at the foundation of the product development. Imagine if all brands applied this same thinking when approaching their brand strategy.

Even content creators are noticing the storytelling power of audio. Celebrities, influencers and artists are jumping into the medium, hosting podcasts and starring in audio series. Unlike TV or movies, audio doesn’t hold them to rigid production and travel schedules.

Through audio, brands can work directly with these celebrities and creators to put together custom stories that work for the brand—something not possible on other platforms. And, feel free to get as creative as possible. (See: Buick and the Office Ladies most recent partnership for a bonus episode).

If You Need More Reasons to Embrace Audio

For brands looking to cut through the clutter, audio is a powerful and effective way to tell memorable, intimate stories. By marrying voice, sound, and music, listeners can hear and experience content like never before.

From Sirius XM to Pandora and Stitcher and SoundCloud, SXM Media offers the most expansive array of audio content in the industry. Whether you want to dip your toe into podcast ads, or feature your messages in streaming music, spoken word or sports, we have the content and custom ad solutions to elevate your storytelling. With our 15+ years of expertise and in-house creative studio, SXM Media can help brands deliver unique, unforgettable experiences to the right audience.

Let us help you discover audio’s storytelling potential. And, we can’t wait to see what you come up with next.