Spotify reports its listeners are accessing podcasts and music on more than just smartphones. It says there have been double-digit gains on desktop computers, smart speakers, and game consoles. “People spent more time with their families at home. And as it turns out, these moments of listening together are shifting how and where they listen,” the company said.
The numbers show through the end of November, smart speaker listening to podcasts and music was up 61% compared to a year ago. Listening to streaming content on game consoles increased 55%. And desktop computer listening was up 28%. Reflecting people spending more time at home, Spotify also says it saw a 62% decrease in listening while doing outdoor activities. “With the world spending more and more time at home, we saw big changes in users' listening behaviors during the day and throughout the week. In fact, weekday streaming behavior looked more like what we'd expect on a weekend,” it said in its 2020 Wrapped roundup.
Globally, Spotify said it had a 108% increase of total monthly active users who listened to podcasts in Sept. 2020 compared with Sept. 2019. And 72% of listeners who listened to more streaming audio during COVID did so for screen-less moments caused by screen fatigue—either for themselves or the entire family—according to a survey Spotify did of its customers in September.
In terms of the shows that people were listening to, Spotify said there was a 140% increase in global total unique listeners of News and Politics podcasts during the January to November period versus last year. Health podcasts saw global unique listener consumption increase by 201%. And Educational podcasts saw global unique listener consumption increase by 81% year-over-year. “Podcasts took center stage this year as people sought out new ways to keep themselves – and their families – informed and entertained,” the company said.
Similar to other studies of podcast listeners, Spotify said its survey of users found when compared to multi-format campaigns, audio-only campaigns did 12% better in driving more foot traffic to stores at what is a more efficient cost for advertisers. It also noted that the top 10% of U.S. ad campaigns with significant brand lift are more likely to include audio compared to the bottom 10%.