Article

Aline Strouvens
Aline Strouvens 11 May 2021

Survey: Boosts by 76% for Audio Consumption Since Pandemic

For the past few years, podcasting has been one of the trendiest marketing channels. To give you an idea of the growth of audio content, more than 900,000 podcasts were created in 2020. That's three times more than in 2019. A survey launched by Sortlist, interviewed 500 CEOs and managers of European small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to understand their relationship with audio content, both as a listener and as an advertiser to promote their business.

The Covid-19 pandemic may have been a blessing in disguise for the audio world. Here is what our survey revealed.

Ehct0-do-you-listen-to-audio-content.png

An overwhelming amount of people answered that they frequently listen to audio content. Every country had at least 90% of answers as yes with a high of 92% in France.

In correspondence with the previous question, we asked whether their audio consumption had increased or decreased since the first Covid-19 restrictions came into place.

9diX6-do-you-consume-more-audio-content-since-the-first-covid-19-related-restrictions-came-into-place.png

76.2% of those who consume audio content said that their consumption increased due to the pandemic, 13% consume the same, and only 2% listen less. Furthermore, all countries, with the exception of the Netherlands, revealed that their consumption increased significantly.

The Commuting Twist

For those who responded that they consumed audio content, we also asked them when they would most likely listen to it.

BWWuA-when-do-you-listen-to-audio-content-the-most.png

Every country, with the exception of the Netherlands, had at least 53% of people responding that they listen to audio content while commuting or doing repetitive tasks. Although only 33.63% of Dutch respondents gave this response, it was still the winning answer just in front of listening whilst at work (32.74%).

Though an estimated 40% of Europeans were forced to work from home as a consequence of the pandemic, thus eliminating the commuting time, people have found substitute times to listen to audio content.

Radio is King, Podcasts are Rising, but Clubhouse…?

We asked people which was their preferred kind of audio content. One thing we learned is that radio is not dead.

drD2s-what-kind-of-audio-content-do-you-prefer.png

Almost 50% of People Prefer Radio – Spain with 56%

Although the number of people listening to the radio is declining (especially amongst younger generations), it continues to surpass its more modern competitors. With a 46% majority in France and a high of 56% in Spain, all countries favoured this traditional medium over others.

Podcasts are a Clear 2nd Favourite with 36% of Listeners

Although not as high as radio, a significant amount of people in some countries answered that they preferred to consume audio content via podcasts. In Germany, preference for podcasts is 8% less than it is for radio, while in Spain, it is a staggering 20% less. However, those surveyed in the Netherlands responded with 11% fewer podcasts over the radio and an impressive 20% less in Spain.

Considered radio’s biggest rival, podcasts have continued to grow in popularity in the past few years and in contrast, podcasts are able to draw in the younger generations. 18 to 44-year-olds make up 67% of the podcast audience around the world. With time, these generations will eclipse those who show a preference for radio.

Clubhouse’s Exclusivity Means only 3% of People use it

Ironically, for a social network app based on voice, Clubhouse seems to be all talk and no action… Backed by big names such as Oprah Winfrey, Elon Musk, and Mark Zuckerberg, this much-hyped app is now worth over $1 billion dollars after just 10 months of existence. However, from what our survey shows, it is hard to tell where this worth is coming from. Less than 3% of Europeans are actually using this app!

With a high of 2.65% of audio content consumers using Clubhouse in the Netherlands, 2.63% in Germany, 0.87% in France, and 0% in Spain, this form of listening to audio content still has a long way to go if it wishes to compete with the rest.

Could this be due to its exclusivity? In order to use the app, listeners must first have an iPhone and then receive an invitation. But CEO Paul Davison says that he intends to open it up in the future. He may want to speed up the process though since competition has just gotten harder.

You won’t believe what Spotify just did…

Spotify is launching itself into live audio content too. The audio streaming platform is buying Betty Labs, the creators of the live audio social app ‘Locker Room’ which focuses on sports. Spotify announced that their collaboration will add “unparalleled data, insights, and strength in user experience, to build-out a full complement of live and on-demand offerings for users and creators across the globe.”

Could this mean the rise and fall for start-ups like Clubhouse?

Maybe…maybe not. For Thomas Angerer, co-founder and CCO of BeInfluence Europe, Clubhouse is a promising social network platform that is giving rise to audio content in an exponential manner. For him, the invitation system for professionals gives businesses the opportunity to position themselves as an expert in their field in relation to other professionals that may be interested in your industry.

"With BeInfluence, we started the adventure at the end of February with the creation of a weekly 'room' on Tuesday mornings in which we discuss the latest trends in influence, as well as a club gathering users interested in the subject. We have an average of 80 listeners per room and the club already has over 500 members and followers! There are real business opportunities. I’ve met some really interesting people for BeInfluence over the course of the rooms and two clients have already contacted us to offer our influence services after listening to us on Clubhouse!"

User Intent: What’s Flowing Through the Headphones?

We wanted to get an insight into what type of content people were listening to. Our results lined up with Manuel Fraga’s most famous slogan: “Spain is different.”

EhhYT-what-type-of-audio-content-are-you-listening-to.png

Although France (34.78%), the Netherlands (29.2%), and Germany (35.09%) listen mostly to audio content related to hobbies, Spain was even more spaced around content related to the news (29.82%), stories, and entertainment (28.07%), and hobbies (27.19%).

We also wanted to take a look into the listener’s main intent when listening to audio content.

2434F-why-do-you-like-listening-to-audio-content.png

In alignment with the previous question, those from France (37.39%), the Netherlands (43.36%), and Germany (34.21%) listen in majority to audio content to help them relax and Spain (40.35%), to learn new things.

Start Mixing Business with Pleasure: 3x the Amount of People Listen to Leisure vs Business Content

According to Chartable, the leading category for new podcasts created in 2020 was education with 133,107. Leisure, however, came in 10th place with only 47, 584 new podcasts.

From our survey, it seems like supply is out doing demand since a large portion of listeners steers away from the educational content.

What does this mean from a business perspective?

If businesses are looking to expand into audio content, it is important that they remain flexible and create content that appeals to users’ wants. Although business podcasts were the 4th most launched podcasts in 2020 with 85,155, only 10% of people listen to audio content related to their job. That is double the amount of new podcasts for an audience that is almost three times smaller (29%) than those who prefer content related to leisure.

Audio content may just be the place where you should mix business and pleasure…

The Love/Hate Relationship Between Advertising and Audio Content

Consumer Perspective: 46% of people are persuaded by audio advertising

Podcast advertising seems to have a positive impact on listeners’ purchasing habits.

pQ8ut-would-you-buy-from-a-brand-that-was-recommended-or-advertised-on-a-podcast.png

46% of listeners can imagine themselves purchasing a product thanks to an advertisement they heard on a podcast, and 31% have already taken the step and done so. Only 8% stand with a firm no.

Business Perspective: Only 19% of Businesses had Advertised on Audio Content

Although those surveyed seemed to have adopted a positive purchasing attitude towards audio content advertising, their business strategy does not reflect that of their consumer’s.

R7gn3-would-you-consider-advertising-on-podcasts.png

49% of CEOs, managers, and team leaders can imagine themselves advertising on podcasts and only 19% have already done so. On the other hand, in the Netherlands, more people were inclined to say no altogether to advertising on podcasts (29.2%) versus those who had already do it (17.7%).

Audio content and advertising are starting to have to sit comfortably together nowadays. In 2020, there was an average of 160 new advertisers per week on podcasts. In January of last year, each advertisement was appearing on average on 3.6 shows and by November, the average jumped to 6.2.

With a podcast being created every 30 seconds around the world, there is plenty of space for businesses to create advertisements. Podcasts are also the best place to catch the eye of younger audiences48% of US monthly podcast listeners are between 12-34 years old. This age bracket that steers away from radio and uses adblockers on various other mediums is an easy catch on podcasts.

Additionally, in 2018, podcast advertising hit $479 million in revenue and it is projected that in 2021, the number will hit $1 billion.

The Advertising Catch

Although some may have shown an interest in advertising, they have also shown the intricacies that come with it.

zZvLj-has-advertising-stopped-you-from-listening-to-audio-content.png

Roughly 58% of all people surveyed responded that they have stopped listening to audio content due to advertising.

Advertising may be great for some, but it can also turn others away. Businesses need to find an original way to keep listeners engaged during their advertisements to avoid the audio advertising catch.

Closing Minutes

Audio content may be changing, but it’s still old school. People still like to tune into the radio and are taking their time in their transition to more modern ways. However, the time will indeed come when we show preference to streaming devices.

Businesses are also taking their time to hit the advertising sound wave, but as consumers, they have already been convinced…although, beware of the overadvertising catch.

Read the whole study on the Sortlist Blog

Please login or register to add a comment.

Contribute Now!

Loving our articles? Do you have an insightful post that you want to shout about? Well, you've come to the right place! We are always looking for fresh Doughnuts to be a part of our community.

Popular Articles

See all
7 reasons why social media marketing is important for your business

7 reasons why social media marketing is important for your business

Social media is quickly becoming one of the most important aspects of digital marketing, which provides incredible benefits that help reach millions of customers worldwide. And if you are not applying this profitable...

Sharron Nelson
Sharron Nelson 6 February 2018
Read more
Top 10 B2B Platforms to Help your Business Grow Worldwide

Top 10 B2B Platforms to Help your Business Grow Worldwide

Although the trend of a Business to Business portal is not new but the evolution of technology has indeed changed the way they function. Additional digital trading features and branding has taken the place of...

Salman Sharif
Salman Sharif 7 July 2017
Read more
What Design Features Does Your Ecommerce Portal Lack in 2021?

What Design Features Does Your Ecommerce Portal Lack in 2021?

If you want to update your ecommerce portal design, study this guide to find out about top features for 2021 and make your portal more advanced.

Roman Davydov
Roman Davydov 9 November 2021
Read more
The 3 Most Important Stages In Your Presentation

The 3 Most Important Stages In Your Presentation

If you want to deliver a presentation on a particular topic and you have to prepare yourself for it you should make sure that you go through several very important stages in order to craft a compelling, persuasive and...

Nicky Nikolaev
Nicky Nikolaev 16 February 2016
Read more
The Latest Instagram Updates and What They Mean for Your Marketing Strategy

The Latest Instagram Updates and What They Mean for Your Marketing Strategy

October has been a busy month for Instagram, with platform updates introduced nearly every week. From easier posting to major developments in video, Instagram is doing everything it can to compete with the likes of...

Rikki Lear
Rikki Lear 11 November 2021
Read more