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The Growth of Audio Social Content: From Podcasts to Social Media Apps

Audio Social Content has been taking the socialsphere by storm and I hope that you’ve been paying attention. From the number of podcasts produced to the number of listeners growing exponentially year over year, the signs that people are craving more audio content are there. What confirmed it for all of us? The emergence of Clubhouse. What triple confirmed it? The beta launch of Twitter Spaces and the announcement that Facebook is working on their own Audio Social Platform. 

In order to understand why an app like Clubhouse exists and why Twitter and Facebook are entering the Audio Content arena, it is important to see how Podcasts got us here.

We Have to Talk About Podcasts!

Podcasts have been around for over 20 years yet these last 5 years are when we’ve seen it take off. With apps like Apple Podcasts, TuneIn, Spotify, Stitcher, among others — making podcasts accessible and easily discoverable — people have been opting for this form of content over traditional tv and radio. Moreover, the diversity in both podcasters and topics has made podcasts appealing to listeners of all ages around the country and the world.

According to The Infinite Dial 2020 Report, it is estimated that 104 million people in the United States — ages 12 and up —  listened to a podcast in the last month. 


Podcasts are not just Commuting Companions

Two or three years ago, podcasts were seen as audio content consumed in transit. While it is true that most people listen to podcasts while commuting, according to Nielsen, it has also expanded to work and while performing other activities such as working out.

Source: Nielsen.com

And according to The Infinite Dial 2020 Report, listeners in the United States spent over 6 hours a week listening to podcasts


Clubhouse has Joined the Conversation!

With over 8 million global app downloads, Clubhouse is the most talked about and popular audio social app. It is important to point out that at the moment the app is not available for Android devices and it is invite-only, so downloads do not equal registered users. What this number does represent is interest! 

Why Clubhouse works

Direct Connection Between the Speaker and Listeners

After reading App Store reviews, it is clear that users absolutely love that direct relationship to the speaker – especially people they admire. And as part of their launch campaign, Clubhouse has been doing an excellent job inviting top entrepreneurs and celebrities to spark interest in their app. Those are excellent for attracting new registrations but the niche experts are the ones that keep listeners coming back for more.

Room for Everyone

Just like subreddits and groups, as Clubhouse continues to grow, so do their topics and subtopics. It’s a beautiful thing to see how people are finding their own cliques and are networking in ways not seen before. For example, if you want to practice a new language, there are Clubhouse groups for that, and having those conversations will without a doubt elevate your learning experience. 

Authenticity Shines 

The level of authenticity in Audio Content is what takes it to the next level! Content is not prerecorded and it is not a Tweet or Video behind a computer. It is as real as it gets – including unexpected errors and glitches – but most importantly engagement and interactions with listeners.

Who will come out on Top?

Audio Social Apps

Whenever a new social app emerges, the rest of the platforms just invite it to play in their sandbox, right? As expected, Facebook is developing their own social audio app. Twitter — racing to catch up to Clubhouse and the audio social content demand — is slowly but surely rolling out Spaces. So there’s pressure for all three major apps to speed up their development. In the case of Clubhouse, launching their app completely and expanding to other devices will be key. 

What this Means for Brands

The audio social content space is in its early stages and many are keen observers watching how it all plays out. But the essence of what listeners are looking for is clear: access and authenticity. So as you start creating your Audio Social Content plan, consider this:

  • Who is my audience?
  • Who will be our representative during the event? 
  • What unique content or point of view will we offer to listeners?
  • How will it fit or elevate the rest of our Social Media Strategy?
  • How will we interact with listeners?
  • What are our Community Guidelines? 
  • How will we measure success?

Audio Social Content Advertising Opportunities

As the apps and demand for audio social content continue to grow and prevail over other social platforms, brands and marketers will want to capitalize on this. And yes, while we can currently use platforms like Midroll to run ads on podcasts, we are all looking for insights and data that will drive us to make better advertising decisions. That’s where Spotify has been making great strides. The moment they made that 100 million dollar deal with Joe Rogan, it was clear Spotify was betting big on Podcasts. Since then, they’ve introduced Spotify Podcast Ads and are exploring new tools to offer us data and measurable placements on podcasts.  

As for Audio Social Apps such as Clubhouse or features like Twitter Spaces, it is too soon (way too soon since Clubhouse hasn’t officially launched) to tell how the companies will monetize their platforms.

Everchanging Socialsphere

It is fascinating to watch how social media platforms continue evolving to adapt to what users are demanding. It seems that our constant search for authentic experiences has landed on Audio Content as our new Content of choice. From first-hand experience, I have been listening to audio content for years and have found myself choosing podcasts and now Clubhouse, over watching TV. Audio content allows me to multitask while getting a deep-dive learning experience about a specific topic and from a person that is just as passionate about that topic as I am. How will this new social media platform race between Clubhouse, Twitter, and Facebook end? Only time will tell, but I am excited to see the new layers of creativity, strategies, and tools that will emerge.  

Do you listen to any podcasts or audio social content? What kind of content keeps you engaged? Share it in the comment section below.

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Jayleen Nazario

Jayleen Nazario

Digital Marketing Specialist