Digital audio in the face of the challenges of confinement: initial trends
The COVID-19 virus is profoundly changing the lives of millions of consumers around the world. Confinement is forcing nearly two-thirds of North America. to work from home, a situation that naturally encourages digital audio listening.
Nielsen’s initial projections already point to a 60% jump in media consumption.
The creation of digital radio stations is also progressing at lightning speed. The Shoutcast platform is now hosting nearly “300 new stations per day, an increase of almost 300% compared to an ordinary period”, states Emilie Dehan, Global Marketing Director of Targetspot. The TLH (total number of listening hours) shows a clear progression between weeks 12 and 13 – from 26 to 33 million hours.
Another big winner is the podcast. According to Acast, the number of podcasts dedicated to the coronavirus is constantly growing. The 1,400 episodes hosted since the beginning of the crisis have been downloaded more than 27.5 million times. The trend is not lessening: there were 12 episodes on March the 1st, listened to a total of 277,000 times. On the 18th of March, 96 episodes were listened to more than 1.3 million times. Indicative of this development is that, since the 9th of March, the American channel ABC News has been offering a daily podcast called “COVID-19, what you need to know”, where doctors answer listeners’ questions every day. The same idea is being used in Great Britain, where the BBC publishes a daily “Coronavirus Global Update“. The format is more informative, but also shorter: about 5 minutes.
What is the perception that consumers have of advertisers? The answer in a very recent study, “Coronavirus Ad Adjacency”, conducted by IAS Insider on March 12, is that 88% of respondents have changed their online content consumption habits. 58% search for virus-related content and information. The types of advertisers with the best acceptance rating in relation to this type of content are laboratories and pharmacies (46%), authorities (30%) and associations (18%).
The extra time spent at home opens up numerous opportunities for certain types of advertisers: online sales sites of course, but also fitness and meditation apps, online training tools and children’s entertainment. These brands are usually associated with advertising on social networks. They could both find a new tone of communication and benefit from unexpected exposure (better isolated) by exploiting the potential of digital audio.
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