Italy – Ipsos Presents Results of Third Edition of “Ipsos Digital Audio Survey”



The survey was launched by Ipsos in 2019 with the explicit intention of allowing the market to have a solid point of view on users’ models and use logic in a specific territory of the media & entertainment universe such as Digital Audio.

Ipsos Digital Audio Survey continues to embrace all the different varieties of Digital Audio, but again this year the focus remains on podcasts: a format that continues to generate great interest, but which risks being overshadowed by unclear definitions and confused measurements.

The data monitored by the survey, listening to podcasts last month, reaches 31% in 2021 among 16-60 year old (about 9.3 million people), with a slight growth but which consolidates the positive trend recorded. Last year (in 2020 podcast had seen a leap of 4 percentage points, going from 26% to 30%): a proof of the fact that the diffusion of the format is a stable and non-transitory result of the digitization process that took place in the pandemic context.

The format remains remarkably young (44% under 35), but in 2021 the adult, graduated (27%) and professional (13%) targets to grow. Even if their “early adopter” connotation (the first to adopt new technologies, preference for premium products) slightly attenuates with the evolution of the registry, podcast users confirm themselves as more responsible and receptive consumers than the average.

The substantial stability in the penetration of the target seems to indicate that further significant growth processes require an “education” on action on the audience, to socialize the general population to this format and allow the user to foreshadow the many possible ways of access and opportunities for the smartphone is further strengthened as the most used device for listening to podcasts (79%), the computer (43%) remains in second place, but in decline, as well as tablets (26%).

Listening to podcasts takes place while other activities are carried out at the same time (80%), with a trend to be monitored in the future.

One figure that we have begun to monitor is that of the platforms used to listen to podcasts, the Digital Audio Survey in 2021 highlights that Spotify is the most used platform followed by YouTube.

The approach to podcasts remains mainly “pull”, with the user who decides to listen after searching the internet for a topic that interested him (34%). Looking ahead, it is interesting to note that GEN Z (16-25 years old) is more easily pushed to listen to podcasts through social word of mouth (32% vs. 25% of total podcast users) and suggestions from the app they use (25% vs. 16%).

In the trade-off argument vs. speaker as driver of choice is confirmed as the strongest (52%), but the relative weight of speakers continues to grow (30%).

In this third edition of the Digital Audio Survey we investigated the specific role of influencers, who appear to have an influence in promoting listening to podcast for 2 out of 3 listeners, with a particularly strong weight among the youngest (74% of those under 35 vs. 54% of 45+).

The strong level of engagement found in 2021 is confirmed, with 59% of users listening to podcasts for the entire duration, and listening to the entire podcast series continues to grow (41%). Loyalty is a crucial issue, especially for a format driven by pull logics. The offer of podcasts increases, therefore, but users still remain firmly in control of the user experience, choosing / intercepting content that is in most cases able to keep them engaged.