Indians listen to podcasts at least once a week: PRmoment-YouGov India Listening Habits Survey 2021

The 'India Listening Habits Survey 2021' was conducted by YouGov in November 2020 for PRmoment India in association with Weber Shandwick. The survey shows that while Indian respondents still give priority to music, a sizeable number listen to podcasts at least one to two times ( 27%) a week. 16% listen to podcasts 3 to 4 times a week.

Nikhil Dey, former vice chairman, Weber Shandwick India said, "The reason why we picked this topic to examine as India's listening habits are undergoing a change and as communicators we need to assess the best way to leverage this category. These changes had already begun before the pandemic. Covid-19 has only sharpened the need to have options to entertainment and work that do not involve looking at a screen all the time. Podcasts offer both entertainment and informed opinion and also can be heard on the go."

The survey was run using YouGov Omnibus service. A cost-effective solution for fast, relevant insights from online representative or niche groups with YouGov’s leading research services. YouGov Omnibus offers the answers you need from the right audience by interviewing an online representative sample of adults, aged 18+ and delivers results within 5 business days for sample of 1,000 respondents. 

YouGov Omnibus offers the answers you need from the right audience by interviewing an online representative sample of adults, aged 18+ and delivers results within 5 business days from a sample of 1,000 respondents. 

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Average Listening time for podcasts, most popular device for accessing audio

Almost half the respondents also shared that they spend less than an hour listening to podcasts, clearly indicating the ideal length of such podcasts is short is sweet. 

The mobile phone is at the centre of the podcast listening habit. A whopping 95% said they used their smartphone to access podcasts and music.

Popular audio platforms 

The bulk (75%) of the respondents said they preferred Hindi and English to hear audio content.

The most popular music and podcast channel is YouTube at 67% with music and podcast streaming channels such as Gaana (36%), Jio Saavn ( 34%), Amazon Music ( 27%) and Spotify (26%) coming a distant second. Bollywood music at 63% remains the most popular music content followed by Indian classical (36%), devotional music (27%) and international pop (23%), albeit at a distance.

Audio content listeners are paying attention to 

Entertainment, health and fitness, technology, sports and business emerged as the top categories of content that attracted listeners indicating a good mix of entertainment and infotainment:

Use of voice search and assistants

The survey also looked at how Indians are engaging with voice aided options for their daily activities. The survey shows that voice aided actions are yet to make a broader entry into Indian lives, confined mostly to using voice aids like Siri to make calls or search the Internet to ask a question.

Commenting on the benefits of using voice search and assistants, respondents listed ease of hearing over reading (42%), reduces my screen time ( 41%) , faster than typing (41%) and can be done on the go (40%).

Change in audio consumption 

The survey clearly shows that consumption of audio content has gone up during the pandemic. 35% of respondents said they have increased their audio consumption by a lot, while 36% said it has increased by some amount. Only 21% said it has stayed the same.

In keeping with this finding nearly half the respondents said they have upgraded to better headphones:

Methodology of survey

This survey was exclusively conducted by YouGov India for PRMoment India in association with Weber Shandwick India. Data was collected online among 500 respondents between 2th November and 23rd November. Data is representative of urban Indian population in the country. The respondents had over 15 years of working experience and had a university degree. There was an equal split of men and women respondents and they hailed from Tier 1 (36%), Tier 2 (24%) and Tier 3 cities (40%).

Deepa Bhatia, general manager, YouGov India, said that "Consumer research such as this study provide communicators and marketers with a crucial analysis of emerging trends as well as a view of their consumer. This understanding is important to comprehend the new multi-channel, hyper local integrated marketing communication mix. Market research to inform strategies and storytelling is an essential tool for communicators."

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