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Study: Consumers Make Audio Part Of Their Day, Squeezing In More Time Where They Can.

Audio isn’t an add-on. It’s at the heart of our daily rituals. That is one of the core findings in a new study on audio consumption habits conducted by Audacy. It finds three-quarters (74%) of listeners consume audio during their daily rituals and 40% of listeners plan their day and activities around audio content. That ranges from people who say they pair a morning walk with a podcast or jump in the pickup to listen to “my music.”

The passion for audio is even stronger among younger demos as 86% of Gen Zs say they pair audio with their daily activities. Podcasting is also helping to keep people engaged too, with 87% pairing the medium with something they do during their day.

In fact, when researchers looked at various daily rituals, 11 are often paired with audio listening. That is more than double the five rituals that are paired with daily TV viewing. In a world of multitasking, the Audacy report points out that while we all love TV, viewers report it can make them feel lazy or unproductive for wasting time.

Not unexpectedly, commuting to work or school is one of the daily rituals where audio functions as a companion. It was cited by nearly two-thirds (63%) of those surveyed. But there were other activities that are even more commonly paired with audio consumption, including putting the kids to bed (70%), exercising (68%), and snack time (66%).

But it is “me time” that had the biggest audio link. The survey finds 73% of people make audio part of their dedicated self-time. “We’re most leaned-in during these chill moments. This is the best time for brands to introduce meaningful, action-driven content that adds value to the moment. Think personalized ads and authentic messages that won’t kill the vibe,” the report says.

Audacy’s study may confirm how audio pairs up with everyday life, but what it says is the “big reveal” in its study are all of the “stolen moments” that people find to work more audio into the day. Six in ten listeners say they have found a way to grab extra time with their favorite radio station or podcast.

Those extra minutes are being squeezed into the day just about everywhere. That includes a majority 55% who said they have remained in the car after they arrived at a destination to hear the rest of a song, radio interview or podcast. Women are 12% more likely to do that. More than a third have even adjusted their route home in order to have more listening time. The same number have lingered in the bathroom. Millennials are a third more likely to do that. And what is bad news for bosses everywhere: the survey finds 15% of people say they have pretended to be working when they were actually focused on what was on the radio or another audio source. Men are a third more likely to do that. Overall, Audacy’s study finds Gen X listeners are most likely to have done them all.

The study also examined how different content works into a typical day, pointing out the data shows platform hopping, station surfing, genre switching, and podcast swapping are common. “As listeners, we’re very promiscuous,” the report says. It notes a podcast listener may opt for top 40 radio while working out, while making podcasts part of evening wind-down time. Audacy says the opportunity for advertisers lies in matching their message to that mood.

“We’ve done a lot of testing on context across different platforms, and it plays a critical role in the effectiveness of ads. It’s been fascinating to see the same exact ad performing very differently based on context,” Magna Executive VP of Intelligence Solutions Kara Manatt says. “Out of context, good ads work. But, in context, the performance of the same exact ad is amplified.” She says in the report that contextual alignment can actually improve the ad experience for users, making the ads less annoying, intrusive, and more relevant.

Audacy’s State of Audio: 11 Moments That Matter study is based on research conducted during July and August. To see methodology, download the full report HERE.

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