Latest Irish Listening Stats

Conducted by RedC in June of this year, it shows a full third of Irish adults not only listen to podcasts weekly but they are listening to more podcasts each week also. They say Ireland is one of the ive fastest growing European markets with notable increases in proportion of weekly consumers: 22%, 29% and 33% in 2019, 2020 and 2021 respectively.

Advertising in podcasts is growing also but realistically it is still small. In the last 18 months it’s gone from ‘tiny’ to ‘small’ but the same could have been said for Netflix when it launched here in 2012. What is growing, significantly, is agency interest in podcast advertising, a sure sign if any, that a viable platform is building.

The survey was launched at the IAB Europe Digital Audio Day 2021 which was a gathering of advertisers and media across the continent. Three interesting things I picked up from the various presentations are;

# Thing 1
There is a feeling podcasts are on a ‘ground floor’. Comparisons were made to investing in Apple in 1978, or Amazon in 1998 or Bitcoin in 2018. Investing in podcasts now could pay off big. I’m not saying for a minute that podcasting will be on Apple level BUT it’s clear that it’s a ‘thing’ for both listeners, investors and advertisers. If you are interested in having your own owned media asset now is the time to start thinking about it.

# Thing 2
It takes time to grow any platform. Look at how long it takes to develop a Facebook page or IG channel. It’s the same with podcasting but if you do it now when it’s ‘quieter’ you are on the pigs back.

# Thing 3
We all suffer screen fatigue with computers all day, then smartphone, then tv! Even watching the Zoom presentation, it was a bit ‘boring’ (sorry IAB!). I would have appreciated a podcast version I could listen to while making dinner, or driving home, or out for a walk.

All were agreed the one problem podcasting needs to solve is measurement. Solid measurement will enable programmatic advertising and that income is what will ultimately make podcasts a viable commodity. IAB, as an umbrella organisation for the advertising business, is already working on this by developing standards. IAB Verified Stats are the ‘gold standard’ for audio measurement in podcasting. Basically they lay down the guidelines so everyone in the industry – podcasters, hosting platforms, ad agencies, and so on “speak the same language” when looking at data.

Finally, some quick but stunning facts from various presentations;

1 – A full quarter of 18-34 digital audio listeners do NOT listen to FM
2 – Smartphone is king with 73% of podcasts listened to this way
3 – There are approximately 3m podcasts worldwide. Spotify has 70m songs.

For more:
Download the IAB Ireland Digital Audio Survey
Watch the RedC Summary on YouTube

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