Moves by Facebook to allow users to listen to podcasts right on its app could be the tip of the iceberg if other app creators take a hard look at new research done by the search and discovery platform Audioburst. It suggests consumers are open to accessing audio wherever they are, even if it is away from the traditional listening apps. The benefits for mobile app publishers could be sizable.
Three-quarters of app users say they remain on a mobile app longer when there is audio content to consume. That includes 38% who said they use the app much longer and 40% who remain a little longer. Just 4% said they would use an app less, while 18% report no change.
“Talk audio is the best accompanying experience and users want to consume it everywhere, including their favorite games and apps,” said Audioburst CEO Amir Hirsh. “This explains why 92% of apps are planning on adding talk audio. There’s a unique opportunity to engage users by giving them more of what they want, within the app experience.”
The Audioburst survey found that a majority 54% describe audio as the “feel good” content on apps beating both video (35%) and articles (11%). But different audio formats generate varying levels of “feel good” vibes. Podcasts ranked the highest with 48% saying they felt good about the audio they consumed when it was a podcast. That compared to 12% for music and 40% for audiobooks.
Audioburst concludes the numbers show people feel better when they learned something new from their listening experience. A majority (57%) also choose talk audio because it allows them to do other tasks, 44% say it keeps their eyes off screens, and 40% enjoy being hands-free.
The challenge is probably finding something to listen to. The survey found six in ten said good audio content is hard to find, with just 11% saying they can find good shows to listen to. “This problem is going to increase as content creation increases” the report predicts.
Audioburst’s 2021 App Podcast Integration Report is based on surveys commissioned by the company of 200 active app users in North America and 100 senior managers from U.S.-based mobile app publishers that have more than 50,000 daily active users. Both surveys were completed by Global Surveyz during April.
The numbers show three-quarters (78%) of app publishers see audio content as complementary compared to 6% that said it competes with other content on their app. As a result, 92% of those surveyed said they plan to add third-party audio content to their app. And that’s in addition to the 7% who already have. A mere one percent of those surveyed have no plans to add audio features to their app.
“No one is questioning the importance of introducing audio content into apps,” the report says. “In fact, 60% of our surveyed respondents are already publishing two or more podcasts themselves. And the biggest benefit they see of in-app audio is increased time spent in the app.”
The data also shows that among those who are focused on app revenue, there remains work to be done. Nearly six in ten said they have no monetization tools for audio and a quarter do not have the audio content that would allow them to make money.
Audioburst says the biggest complaint – noted by four in ten – is they don’t have the required tools. But when combining reasons like people, time and money, what may be the biggest hurdle is a lack of resources and expertise.
Among some of the other survey findings: People spend nearly two hours a day listening to audio. And 52% said they are consuming more audio compared to a year ago.
While music is still the king of audio consumption – it gets 64 minutes per day on average – podcasts account for 22 minutes and talk radio for 10. The data also shows most people (57%) consume podcasts for entertainment.
Voicebot Research CEO Bret Kinsella says while he wasn’t surprised to see that audio delivers benefits, the size of the impact and the level of interest among app publishers is greater than he expected. “From the supply side, mobile app publishers like audio because it increases user time spent in their apps. From the demand side, consumers are seeking out more talk audio through podcasts and social audio, so it makes sense that they are primed to enjoy this as a new feature in their favorite mobile apps.”
Download Audioburst’s 2021 App Podcast Integration Report HERE.