Digital content production was greatly impacted during the pandemic of COVID-19. At the beginning of the pandemic, we observed an increase in the search for materials that would help professionals acquire new knowledge in the face of new unemployment rates. This is when formats such as e-books, white papers, infographics, and educational videos peaked in increased searches, whether related to courses or not. At the same time, the production of more robust audiovisual content (which relies on staff for its realization) became affected by the new rules of social isolation, facing new challenges of production and distribution.
In this scenario, the podcast, a format that was already on the rise even before the pandemic, had an exponential increase in production and consumption.
According to streaming platform Deezer, podcast consumption had already grown 67% in Brazil between 2018 and 2019 – a growth rate higher than that of European countries. The streaming platform Spotify, meanwhile, based on its results from early 2020, also reveals the growth of podcasts: although the number of active users listening to the programs had a subtle growth, the amount of content consumed by them had already increased by more than 100%. According to the company, a quarter of its audience already used the platform to listen to podcasts. Thus, Spotify has increased its bets on the format and, in addition to independent productions, has closed partnerships with big names for the creation of new programs, such as Michelle Obama and Kim Kardashian. Even Warner Bros announced that it would produce programs about the universe related to DC Comics. These are just some of the cases.
Globo research reveals an increase in podcast consumption during the pandemic
Globo, in turn, which sees in the digital the future of the group, aiming to understand the audio consumption scenario in Brazil, conducted a research in partnership with Ibope and revealed to us unprecedented data about the podcast consumption in the country.
As we can see from the Spotify conclusions, the beginning of the pandemic did not bring an expressive increase of new users listening to podcasts, but the increase of consumption of those who already absorbed the format. However, Globo’s research, conducted in September 2020 and February 2021, reveals to us that over the course of the pandemic, this picture changed: 57% of respondents started listening to podcasts in this period.
“Podcasts speak to the ear and create an intimate relationship with the public, and the research proves this by showing that more people have become interested in the format in the context of social isolation. Among the interviewees, the reports of people who say they feel part of the conversation of the programs are common, and, therefore, they feel less lonely. Of the almost 100 million Brazilians who consume some form of digital audio, 28 million already declare to listen to podcasts. This growing interest reinforces the bet on this segment”, said Guilherme Figueiredo, Head of Digital Audio at Globo.
The survey heard more than a thousand interviewees and brought us other data such as, for example, how the podcast consumption was inserted in the listeners’ routine. Consistent with the multitasking culture of the 21st century and, perhaps, with the FOMO, which with social isolation has shifted even more to the act of absorbing digital content, the consumption of podcasts has revealed itself parallel to other activities. 44% of respondents said they listen to the programs while doing household chores, 30% while surfing the internet, 25% listen to podcasts before bed, 24% while working/studying or going to work/college, 20% while doing physical activities, and 18% during personal care.
Other interesting data that the survey revealed is related to the relationship of the public with the duration of the podcasts. 21% of respondents said they prefer shorter podcasts, up to 15 minutes long; 31% prefer programs with duration between 15 and 30 minutes; 20% prefer programs with duration between 30 and 45 minutes; and 13% said they prefer those with duration between 30 and 45 minutes.
Every year, the podcast becomes one of the most valued digital formats in the world and it is important to highlight that, in Brazil, advertisers have also understood its value to the market. It is no wonder that more and more companies have started to produce podcasts as part of their 360° marketing strategies.