Reports Audio

Audio audiences Steady change

Report by Mark Mulligan, Tatiana Cirisano and Annie Langston
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This report is the first preview of our new research vertical for Audio, to be formally launched later this year.

The 20,000 foot view: Podcasts reinvigorated the audio market, bringing with it the promise of a ‘Netflix moment’ for radio. Though podcast audience growth has not kept pace with industry interest and hype, podcasts have been at the centre of a boom in audio consumption that was accentuated by Covid lockdowns, and that is recalibrating post-pandemic.

Key Insights

  • Radio is            most widely listened to audio            with            weekly active user (WAU)            up from            2020 but down                       2021
  • Although only            consumers listen to music streaming            it is a clear second            the audio format landscape, and            two percentage points up from           
  • Podcast WAU            remains niche at just            though            up two points from            2020,                       2021 penetration peaked at            in           
  • Audiobook penetration                       in            2021, which was one            up from            2020 but down            from            in            2021
  • The unique            audience grew by one percentage            in 2021, however the combined            of the sum total of            individual formats was           
  • Overlaps between            formats is growing:            of Spotify            were podcast WAUs in            2021,            from            one year earlier
  •            of radio listeners were also music streaming WAUs (up from            in            2020)
  • Spotify has            established itself as the dominant            platform in terms of audience            with            of all podcast users
  • Spotify’s podcast            is highest in Australia            the                       and Sweden           
  • BBC Sounds            the UK is the most            used national broadcaster podcast app
  • Amazon, though,            the fastest growing platform, up                       in            2021 to            in            2021
  • Audio address            demographics: streaming and podcasts have            users aged under                       and            respectively)            radio has the highest aged           

Companies and brands mentioned in this report :Amazon, Apple, Audible, BBC Sounds, Dolly Parton, Downcast, Google, India.Arie, Joni Mitchell, Luminary, Meta, Neil Young, Netflix, NPR, Spotify, Sveriges Radio, Wondery