Authors: OPTS Planning Team
While appetite for digital audio has been growing in recent years, the pandemic may have changed the direction this growth is headed in, as consumers move towards viewing music videos over using music streaming platforms like Spotify.
eMarketer forecasts that in the UK, where steady gains have been recently made in digital audio consumption, this will flatline among the adult population in 2020. Research from MIDiA shows a strong rise in YouTube and Vevo streams, indicating that when stationary at home, many consumers prefer a visual music experience. A lot of audio streaming occurs on daily commutes, where the visual element is certainly less desirable. With that listening environment essentially cancelled, the current preference appears to be for a melding of audio and visual into one.
In April, Channel Factory ran a survey that found that more respondents (56%) said they’d been watching music videos and performances on YouTube than any other category in the past two weeks.
However, MIDiA also notes that the initial dip in audio streaming volumes may persist for some time but will be fundamentally temporary in nature. Streaming volumes will grow as a) consumers develop normalised behaviour patterns in their new, abnormal life situations, and b) in the longer term when consumers return to normal work and life.
This change in behaviour has probably been the fuel behind Spotify's recent launch of video podcasts. The new feature allows users, including both free users and paid subscribers, to watch the video content from a select group of creator podcasts. Unlike on YouTube, where only paid subscribers can listen to YouTube video content in the background while they do other things on their device, Spotify users will be able to seamlessly move between the video version and the audio. When multitasking, audio content will continue to play in the background, as other apps are opened or even if the device is locked.
There is still added benefit of extending relevant music video targeting on YouTube for Samsung now that people continue to spend the majority of their time at home. The exciting potential of pre-roll video advertising and enhanced podcast sponsorships on Spotify presents new opportunities for audio advertising, as the way music and podcasts are consumed continues to evolve and develop.
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