Today, there are more than two million podcasts, and podcast listening has gone from niche to mainstream, with three-quarters of all Americans tuning in to talk audio regularly.
But as content creation and consumption rates rise, so does the challenge of discovery; how do listeners find a podcast diamond in the rough? Indeed 60% of listeners say it’s difficult to find great content.
Meanwhile, to thrive in an incredibly competitive app economy, with millions of apps battling for our time and attention, app owners are constantly seeking innovative ways to monetize without spoiling the user experience.
Could in-app audio be the missing link?
This spring, we embarked on a journey to gain more insight into these important business drivers.
We commissioned a survey of senior managers from US-based mobile app publishers, as well as active app users.
We asked many questions about podcast listening, streaming, engagement, and much more.
The results present a fascinating view of the in-app world, the talk audio industry, and their nexus.
We found that adding informative, inspiring, and entertaining audio content to apps is a home run!
Users indicate that audio content improves their app experience, while publishers find that audio content and monetization help them meet their business goals.
Our findings fall neatly into two overarching themes:
1. Podcast hunger is greater than ever
- Podcast listening has increased for 52% of app users this year, with 59% of users listening regularly.
- 57% of people choose talk audio over video because it enables them to get on with other tasks, 44% say it keeps their eyes off screens, and 40% enjoy being hands-free.
- 78% of users spend more time engaging with apps when they are infused with audio.
- Podcast discovery is a challenge for 60% of consumers.
- Consumers feel better about consuming audio (54%) than any other format.
2. Mobile app publishers are bullish on audio
- 78% of app publishers see audio as complementary, while only 6% believe audio competes with the app content and experience.
- 99% of publishers see the benefit of adding audio to their apps. The biggest benefit reported is increased time spent in the app.
- 58% of publishers report lacking audio monetization tools, while 24% do not have original audio content to monetize.
- Only 14% of app publishers say their top business goal for 2021 is increasing revenue. Longer engagement (time in app) topped the list with 48%.
Here’s the thing, though.
There’s a major disconnect between the 78% who see audio as complementing their other content/ 92% who want audio content and actual implementation, with only 7% already streaming audio content.
We believe this gap will shrink in the coming months and years, as more apps begin to integrate talk audio.
In-app audio is just getting started. You heard it here first!