Today’s young car buyers (Millennials and Gen Z) don’t start their search in the showroom with a dealership salesperson. In fact, an estimated 90% of today’s car-buying consumers begin their journey on smartphones, tablets, and computers, according to research by 9Clouds.

Most resellers align their media strategy with where buyers consume media. It’s not new. A high percentage of dealerships even describe their strategy as “digital first”. However, it is not uncommon to come across stores that still spend around 50-70% of their budget on traditional media, including traditional radio.

Reach today’s young car buyers

Due to its massive reach, audio streaming has become an increasingly popular advertising channel. Spotify, one of today’s most popular audio streaming services, has 422 million users, including 240 million users on the ad-enabled free subscription plan. This level of reach is an important reason dealerships should consider digital audio ads. Spotify, in particular, is on a continued and aggressive growth trajectory, with plans to reach one billion listeners by 20303.

The growth of audio streaming is, well, almost unheard of. This is the perfect opportunity for dealerships to get their messages heard and further refine their digital advertising strategy to today’s audiences for sales and service footprint growth.

Many of today’s young car buyers stream audio an average of 2.5 hours a day on those same devices where the car buying journey begins. More importantly, digital audio today reaches more listeners than traditional radio; its unique format brings additional reach to other media channels like TV, video streaming and social media. The captive nature of streaming audio is estimated to lead to a 41% increase in ad recall.

What is audio streaming?

For those unfamiliar with the medium, think of it as on-demand radio or a pre-recorded audio program or show. It is hosted on the web and available for download to personal computers or mobile devices to listen to on demand, much like a person watches a show on Netflix. This platform has grown significantly and is now considered one of the most popular ways to listen to music and podcasts.

The evolution of the media mix will continue

The purchasing power of millennials and Gen Z is guaranteed to increase dramatically over the next 20 years. It is essential not to get caught up in muscle memory when advertising to these different age groups. Subconsciously we perceive them as static – doing things the way we always have. For many dealerships, they are turning to a digital strategy to meet millennial demand. Yet muscle memory brings them back to advertising the same way they must always reach out to the other generations they are most familiar with. For some resellers, audio streaming offers a bridge between the old and the new.

Why should car dealerships take this into account?

According to the statistics mentioned above, audio streaming is gaining popularity. Refocusing your digital advertising strategy to include streaming audio can be a great new way to reach potential car buyers, even those in the consideration phase. In fact, listeners who hear automotive ads on Spotify are 52% more likely to purchase the new vehicle on sale.

Audio streaming allows dealerships to communicate with an extremely captive audience. With lifestyles on the move, the power of having on-demand audio programming allows dealerships to deliver their advertising message anywhere, anytime, increasing visibility and further establishing brand awareness in a highly competitive space.

Many resellers looking to continue their digital migration have found an easy transition to audio streaming. Those already committed to digital can take advantage of reach and frequency. Audio streaming can address misaligned advertising strategy allocations and align shopping experiences with customer expectations, especially given its competitive pricing for the reach it delivers. Audio streaming drastically reduces unnecessary expenses, while reaching customers where they spend their time.

Does your dealership advertise on today’s popular audio streaming services? If not, it’s time to seriously consider this opportunity.

Jeff Allen has worked in the automotive industry for over 20 years and has been at the forefront of transforming buyer data into insights on all three levels of automotive. Prior to joining PureCars, Allen was Director of Analytics at 22Squared, working directly with Southeast Toyota and major retail brands to improve their results. Today, he is VP of Digital Media for PureCars, working internally and externally with customers to eliminate blind spots to drive performance. For more information, visit


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