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Study: Video Podcasts Taking A Bite Out Of TV’s Primetime Viewing Hours.

With research showing that podcast listening is expanding audio usage in other parts of the day when listening has been less of a go-to entertainment option, Spotify has released a new report that points to video podcasts as replacing TV viewing. The streamer says from 1am to 5pm, audiences are more likely to listen to the audio-only experience of video podcasts. But it says between 6pm and midnight that changes. “When evening rolls around, fans tend to watch video podcasts, since they're winding down and primed for ‘leaned-in’ viewing,” says its just-released Podcast Fan Study.

The time of day for viewing habits helps explain in part why some video content plays better than others. Spotify’s survey of its users shows that when it comes to consumption of video podcasts – both watching and listening versus just listening to the audio portion of a video podcast – Comedy ranks on top with a 28% share of video views. It is followed by Leisure—which includes Gaming and Hobbies (16%), Society & Culture (12%), Business (10%), and Technology (8%). Somewhat surprising is video podcasts about Film & TV rank much lower, representing only 1.5% of video podcast viewing.

“Consider experimenting with video, especially if your audio-only show falls into one of these categories,” says the report. “Video offers a new space for engagement with your audience and opens the door for more promotional material to be shared on social media.”

Spotify’s Fan Study also looks at how in the post-pandemic world consumption of podcasts has evolved. Its data shows more than three-quarters (78%) of consumption takes place Monday through Friday, with 22% of listening done during the weekends. Commutes are prime time for podcasts during the week, with listenership spiking at 8am and 5pm although on Saturdays and Sundays, podcast consumption spikes between 11am and noon, with smaller upticks in the evening.

The consumption pattern is partly explained by why people listen to podcasts. Spotify says in a recent survey of its users, it found that 71% like to pair listening with commuting and traveling while 71% listen while doing chores around the house, 43% listen to podcasts while relaxing, and 34% listen while working out.

The result is Education and Wellness-related genres have their peak listening during the morning, while Entertainment and Family content is more popular in the evening. The report also shows that the Religion & Spirituality, Arts, History, Health & Fitness, Science, and Fiction genres have higher listenership during mornings and late nights, while Leisure (Games & Hobbies), and Kids & Family genres all log their top listening hours during the evenings.

Looking across listening data for all of last year, Spotify also reports that podcast listeners were more likely to start listening to new shows during four distinct months – January, March, July, and October. “In certain parts of the world, these spikes coincide with seasonal events—most notably, the start of the new year, the beginning of summer, and the holiday season,” it points out.

The data shows March is tops for new listenership with 13.2% discovering a new show, followed by July (12.5%), January (10.1%), and October (7.4%). The holiday season may be busiest for many podcast listeners, but the worst months for new listenership in 2022 came early in the year – with April the bottom, followed by February.

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