Gen Z Crave Audio Round the Clock

By Idil Cakim SVP, Research & Insights

Audio rituals span the whole day. Audiences DJ their content from the moment they wake up until bedtime, changing platforms, formats and programs. Why not start the day with some news and favorite rap songs? Then comes workout time to the tune of top 40 and tech podcasts for those who are truly motivated. Audiences carry their podcasts and radio to their commute. And the sound of hosts, producers and musicians does not stop whether folks are investing in a little bit of time for themselves,, are at work, or are spending time with their family in the evening.

Engaging audiences during audio rituals create authentic and deeply emotional connections for brands. Optimizing plans based on not just age and gender, but ritualistic behaviors produce greatly enhanced results. And the most ritualistic audiences are – drumroll – Gen Z.1

Pathways to target Gen Z with precision and scale: Gen Z’ers live and breathe Audio – much more so than the typical adult. Nine in 10 (86%) indicate they make sure to have time for Audio in their day. And six in 10 (56%) Gen Z’ers organize their day around Audio content. These young audiences consume audio while getting ready for sports, practicing mindfulness, at work or school, and shopping. They are also more likely than average to bring audio into their personal primetime (i.e., me time.) These moments present brands across categories (e.g., sports, retail, health and wellness, etc.) with myriads of opportunities to deliver messages crafted for Gen Z audiences’ mindsets and settings. 

Gen Z audiences will take your brand to the next level. Because they are a curious bunch. Knowing the latest and newest is important for many U.S. adults, but more so for Gen Z. 64% of Americans feel it is somewhat to very important for them to be in the know or in lock-step with the newest trend or topic. And Gen Z audiences are +12% more likely than average to want to catch the latest.2 Their quest for discovery makes them a highly desirable audience for any marketer that wants to break through with a new brand, product or service. 

And they will do it through Audio: Gen Z trusts Audio the most, more so than Google or YouTube.3 Gen Z audiences are more likely to stream than average. And they are more likely to prefer Audio (+25%) than video (+11%).4 Gen Z’s leaning towards Audio is also evidenced in the way they have been spending their media time. Over the past two years, these young listeners increased the time they spend with Audio. Post-COVID, they report listening to AM/FM radio +1.5 hours and podcasts +1.8 hours more per week, than they did previously.5

Looking forward: The fact that younger audiences keep audio so close to what they do and think is how we know the future is Audio – whether on the radio, streaming or podcasting. Gen Z audiences will soon go through key life events — graduation, new home purchases, marriage, new jobs among others. As they shift schedules and priorities, they will rely on Audio to be informed and motivated.  Audacy’s study of Gen Z online conversations about Audio content shows that, for Gen Z, radio is synonymous with comfort. And streaming platforms allow them to carry their comfort wherever they go.6

Marketers need to start building brand equity and earn Gen Z’s loyalty now. Audio rituals, woven intricately through Gen Z audience’s daily lives, offer a string of opportunities to connect and move these audiences. 

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  1. Audio Rituals Study, Alter Agents, July 2022; insights are based on clustering analyses.
  2. Audacy, Discovering the Latest Study, January 2023, n=1172, M/F 50/50, Adults 18+, Conducted using AskSuzy online platform.
  3. Audacy Alter Agents Engaged Impressions Survey, August 2020, Gen Z (n=248), Q. How much do you trust each of the following media sources when I comes to news, product recommendations, advertising etc.?;
  4. 2021 Spring MRI Simmons USA, Gen Z, Streaming audio includes podcasts and radio listening on internet/app, Streaming video includes any watching on video streaming services such as Apple TV+ or Disney+ or ESPN+ or Facebook Watch or Hulu or Netflix or PBS Passport or Peacock or #Pluto TV or Prime Video or Sling or #Tubi or YouTube.
  5. Audacy Alter Agents Engaged Impressions Survey, August 2020, Base: Gen Z (n=248),  Q. On average, how many hours do you spend in a typical week doing the following activities?
  6.  Audacy Relative Insights Gen Z Study, July 2021 

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