How Listeners Tune into Audio

By Idil Cakim: SVP, Research & Insights

Be In the Moment with Audio Channels Listeners Love

Audio is hot right now. It’s on the tip of advertisers’ tongues. It’s being driven even more popular by smart speakers and incredible podcasts. And we’re a little partial – we love talking about audio. But the catch folks can fall into is considering audio as one big bucket. It’s not. Over-the-air (OTA) Radio, Streaming Audio and Podcasts all have nuance that drive audience and listening habits in different ways. In some cases these different audio types overlap and serve our styles, interests and times of day in different ways.

When Listeners Tune In

Audio is always on. OTA fans wake up to their radio! And they take it with them, while they’re on the go. Streamers, whether they’re tuning in to OTA or Podcasts, create personal experiences throughout the week. They carve out ‘me time’ for their audio favorites, choosing that alone time to listen.

Who’s Paying More Attention When Listening

Across the board, Americans have the most trust in Audio, especially compared to TV and social media. So it’s not surprising that we give our full attention to all audio types. But regular Podcast fans consistently show the most engagement, outperforming other audio types across formats from sports and news, to music.

What Makes Gen Z Tune In – To Be Informed or Entertained

Gen Z are huge fans of audio. They listen to everything… and they listen a lot. More than Millennials in every audio type. And Gen Z listenership grew even stronger over the past year. On ad supported platforms, Gen Z spends the most time listening to AM/FM Radio (50%) and Podcasts (21%), compared to Spotify (18%) and Pandora (6%).

Gen Z comes to audio to both be informed and entertained. A recent quantitative survey of teens and young adults found that 75% of podcast users listen with the goal to learn something new, and 74% agree “putting on a podcast while doing other things keeps me entertained”.

Be In The Moment: Whether listeners are looking for news, a topic of interest or just some relaxation, the key for advertisers is to understand the consumer mindset and set the perfect balance with their audio plans. Weave brands into daily moments in authentic ways and become part of listeners’ experiences. A single audio tactic may not do the trick. An integrated audio strategy is the best approach that will deliver on audience targeting and campaign goals.

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Audio Amplification, Engaged Impressions Study, Alter Agents, 2020

Edison Research Share of Ear Q4 2020

Whistle Wise Ear to the Ground Report, Sept 2020

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