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Why Podcasts Are The New Primetime

July 2021

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New research from Spotify and MAGNA shows that podcast listening and TV watching have more in common than you might think. The difference? Podcast listeners are more receptive to hearing ads.

From co-listening to multitasking while listening, we’ve seen a number of changes in podcast consumption over the last year. Our latest research conducted in partnership with MAGNA shows that podcasts continue to play a starring role in people’s daily routines, whether they’re rushing to listen to the latest episode of their favorite show, revisiting old favorites, or exploring new genres.

Not only that — participants in the study reported spending about as much time listening to music as they do watching TV shows and movies. In our research, 51% of people reported listening to more music during the pandemic, while 48% of people said the same about TV and 46% said the same about movies.

One reason for this behavior is — you guessed it — screen fatigue. The majority of study participants (72%) reported feeling screen fatigue, and 42% cited it as the primary factor in why they’re listening to more digital audio. And at Spotify, we’ve seen over a 3X increase in streams of playlists with keywords like “screenless,” “close your eyes,” and “screen fatigue.”

Take a look at the research highlights:

The study recruited over 3,000 participants in the U.S. who listened to digital audio or watched digital video in the past 24 hours. Spotify and MAGNA also conducted a deep dive on podcast listening vs. TV show watching behaviors, as well as how media consumption has changed during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Sources: Spotify x MAGNA, “Digital Audio Expansiveness: Growing Landscape & Opportunities” US, Q1 2021; Spotify Internal Data, June-December 2020