Digital Audio: As ad spend grows, is consumer behaviour also changing?

Posted on: Friday 14 May 2021 | IAB UK

An IAB UK/YouGov survey shows that people have been listening to digital audio more since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic and over a third say they will continue to do so as restrictions ease

Released last month, IAB UK’s 2020 Digital Adspend report includes digital audio for the first time, a move that reflects the growing prominence of audio within the digital landscape. The results show that the overall market grew by 17% year-on-year to a total of £103.7 million, including podcast spend which rocketed by a massive 43%. 

To understand whether consumer behaviour is changing in line with ad spend, we have conducted a consumer survey with YouGov to explore how listener behaviour has changed over the past year. 

Key findings:

  • Two thirds say they currently listen to online audio at least once a month, which is a significant increase since early March 2020
  • Frequency of listening has jumped too. Two thirds of those who listen to podcasts have done so more since Coronavirus restrictions first came into place in March 2020. Music streaming services and online radio have also seen an increase in frequency from over half of listeners
  • This increased frequency is likely to continue for many, with over a third of those listening more saying they will continue to do so
  • The consistent reasons for listening to any type of online audio more since restrictions were introduced in March 2020 are to help people relax and to keep them company

Download the full research below.


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