Last year we discussed how audio has played a massive part in our lives during COVID with particular attention given to the uplift in digital streams and the increase in podcast listening. 

IAB Listen Up Ireland research from late 2020 showed that 71% of Irish adults listened to digital audio in 2020, up 9% on 2019’s figure. Weekly consumption had also grown by 3 hours per week to 16.6 hours.

51% were consuming more podcasts than a year ago with 25% expecting to increase that further in the next 12 months. Smart speaker usage had doubled, with 1 million adults claiming to have a smart device. 


While the above research captures data in the depths of COVID in 2020, we now have the opportunity for the first time to look at “like for like” trends as April in both 2020 and 2021 was impacted by COVID. While there clearly was a COVID peak to commence the growth it seems clear the impact is longer lasting.

April 2021 has been urbanmedia’s biggest month for digital audio listening to date. Streaming hours are up 40% on April 2020 figures and active streams up over 9%. This also shows people are liking what they hear as they’re listening for longer.

Consumers are continuing to shift listening to digital mainly driven by technological advancement. It’s never been easier to interact with smart devices through voice activated interfaces. Our April figures support this with more than 50% of our digital listening coming from smart speakers.



As consumers become more and more comfortable with these advancements the proliferation of smart devices in homes continues at pace. This is all helping in bringing digital audio further into the mainstream, with older age groups also recording strong growth as well as heavy usage in younger audiences.

With more listeners discovering new music and spoken word content via digital audio, the medium is in an exciting place.

We continue to see opportunities for clients to create content within this space, the most recent being from Harvey Norman who are partnering with us for “The Back Garden Festival” across the summer. This dedicated digital music stream will play the summers hottest tracks from the bands you love, as we once again face into a festival free summer.


Source : IAB Listen Up Ireland 2020/ AdSwizz


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