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Study: One-Third Of Heavy Online Audio Users Have Left Music For Series Content.

Millennials and GenZers online are using audio in ways that warrant radio's attention, especially with a significant share reporting moving from online music to audio series content, and nearly two-thirds using it to de-stress.

These are among the findings of a survey of nearly 4,400 U.S. internet users, conducted by audio series platform Pocket FM during October and November 2023. The study shows that 90% of its sample – made up of 64% millennials, 32% Gen Zers, and 4% Gen X – tune into audio daily for entertainment.

Audio series dominate user activity, with 67% giving such content 5-star recommendations, compared to 53% doing so for online music. In fact, 36% say they have shifted from music to audio series, with romance (23%), drama (21%), suspense/thriller (16%), and sci-fi (15%) the most popular genres.

Additionally, respondents report using audio for not just entertainment but also for other roles in their daily lives, with two-thirds (65%) using it to de-stress, while 34% use audio to either avoid distraction or to help focus.

"This trend shows that people want more immersive experiences and suggests a bigger shift that encourages away from constantly looking at screens for entertainment while trying to de-stress,” Pocket FM CEO and co-founder Rohan Nayak says. “The rising popularity of audio series, where people binge-listen without needing to stare at a screen, is a clear sign of this change. It's an exciting time for audio, emerging as the new lifestyle, as we find new ways to create engaging experiences that really connect with our users.”

Other findings from Pocket FM's survey show that nearly half (43%) of U.S. listeners lean towards shorter audio episodes, as in 5-15 minutes in length, while 38% prefer those in the 15-to-30-minute range, and 18% favor content running from 45 minutes to an hour. Close to two-thirds (63%) are listening on smartphones, while 15% do so on tablets, and 22% consume audio across desktops, smart TVs, and other devices.

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