Daily time spent listening to smart speakers has risen 43% since the beginning of the year, while PC and desktop audio streaming has grown 54%. This is according to the “Pandora 2021 Definitive Guide to Audio,” which targets current and prospective advertisers of the audio streaming platform.

The guide was released in partnership with Edison Research and Omnicom Media Group.

Dubbing these listeners “Generation Stream,” the guide highlights some impressive stats: 50% of U.S. adult streamers are aged 18-44; nine in 10 respondents’ stream both audio and video; 35% of streamers are multicultural. These findings are from “The Tale of Two Streamers” report conducted by OMG Research, Edison Research and Pandora in April 2020.

Citing numerous studies throughout the guide, Pandora notes that average daily audio streaming hours have increased 32% since the beginning of the year, according Comscore data. “More adults in the U.S. are listening to their favorite music, talk shows and podcasts across streaming platforms instead of traditional platforms—for the first time ever,” Lauren Williams, Pandora Senior Director, Strategic Audio and Vertical Marketing writes.

Specifically looking at audio streamers, the study finds that 54% listen to ad-supported audio content and 59% of paid audio subscribers listen to ad-supported audio.

The guide is based on findings from March through September and reflect the listening habits of Americans since the COVID-19 pandemic came ashore.

It says that three in four Americans have changed their routines due to the pandemic, and with that their media habits have also changed. In May, 70% of audio listening was happening at home (vs. nearly 50% at the beginning of the year), according to the Edison Research Share of Ear Q2 May Update. “Virtual offices have put PC and desktop listening back on the map, with a 54% increase in daily time spent listening, amassing 14% share of ear,” Williams writes, once again citing Edison Research’s Share of Ear.

Looking at daily time spent listening at home, 73% is to music, while 10.8% of listening goes to news, a 35% quarter-over-quarter growth, according to Nielsen Total Audience Report. Listening to talk accounts for 9.3% while sports captures 1.6%.

“Audio continues to be one of the most powerful tools for storytelling, especially in the midst of a massive shift,” Williams concludes. “Beyond its ability to create unique emotional connections, audio provides the opportunity to adapt and change your message nearly instantaneously.”

While Williams is prospecting for advertisers for her company’s platform, the words ring true for broadcast radio as well, whose fans are also listening more via smart speakers and PCs. “The impacts of 2020 are monumental and will shape innovation, creativity, and content for decades to come, she adds.

View the full Pandora 2021 Definitive Guide to Audio HERE.

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