The late “Madchester” impresario Tony Wilson once compared Shaun Ryder to WB Yates and it seems UK consumers are also waxing lyrical about the power of music and the spoken word with new shifts in listening behaviour as we emerge out of Covid lockdown.
So says a new report from Spotify UK & Ireland which reveals a series of consumer trends that have been tracked since January 2021, designed to help advertisers and brands understand and engage their audiences in a world where the consumption of content is constantly changing.
Happy Days are Here Again
Perhaps unsurprisingly, after three national lockdowns of Brits are in the mood to party. Spotify says it has witnessed a significant uptick in celebratory streaming, with +19% increase in streaming of the “party moment” and -7% decrease in streaming of the “chill moment”.
Gen Z, Millennials, and men appear to be particularly celebratory: Gen Z’s increase in party moment is +53% higher than average, Millennials’ increase is +26% higher than average, and that of men is +38% higher than average.
And, as restrictions ease in 2021, Twitter is seeing significant increases in positive mood music, with a rise in streams of “carefree”, “optimistic’” and “joyful” listening.
Back In The Swing of Things
Listening out of home is also on the rebound and being added to the in-home routines formed during the last year. Spotify has seen a 60% increase in average daily streams in-car since restrictions have eased, and an 11% increase in mobile use.
The UK’s renewed love of the outdoors continues, with 18% increase in average daily streams of “outdoor activities”, and Generation X (the age group not Billy Idol’s band) in particular engaging with the outdoor activities at +15% higher than the average.
Baby Boomers appear to be the first group jumping back into travel moments, with a 16% increase in average daily streams of the “travel moment” for those 55+.
The Podcast Boom & Late-Night Listening
UK listeners are also increasing their late-night listening engagement, with an increase in late night podcast streams. Night-time sees a 5% increase in podcast listening compared to the daily average, and there is a 22% rise in late night (midnight to 6am) listening compared to before the first lockdown.
While Gen Zs led the trend in late-night listening in the early days of the pandemic, it seems Millennials (and in particular, Millennial women) more recently have been increasing engagement with their favourite podcasts after-hours. The increase in overnight podcast streams is now 15% higher than the average for women aged 25 to 44 since restrictions eased on March 8.
Spotify is seeing that users are focusing their late-night podcast listening on entertainment (games, music, true crime) and self care (religion, spirituality, education). When looking at overnight streams of podcast genres compared to the average, games are +93% higher than the average increase; religion and spirituality are +51% higher; and education is +20% higher.
Spotify head of enterprise sales for the EMEA region Rak Patel said: “The pandemic has had an irrevocable impact on the way people consume content and this year brands have needed to be more agile than ever to reach them in the right places, but also with the right content.
“At Spotify, we’re in the perfect position to work with our brand partners and advertisers to provide inspiration and guidance on how to create content that reaches and engages their key targets, because when culture happens we see it reflected in the things people listen to on our platform – from the time of day they’re streaming, to the playlists they’re creating and the people they are listening with.
“It’s been fascinating to observe these new trends on the platform and we’re excited to work on finding creative solutions with brands that tap into them.”
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