Brands have jumped on the bandwagon of YouTube influencers and vloggers, sometimes with mixed results, but perhaps it’s time to look beyond the visual because “now is the time of the audio influencer,” according to Spotify’s Marco Bertozzi.
The platform’s Vice President, EMEA Sales & Multi-market Global Sales, declared at last month’s DMEXCO that “We’re actually in a new golden age of audio, a renaissance driven by streaming” – that and the ubiquity of smartphones which allow easy access to audio throughout the day.
And Spotify can lay a claim to sit “at the heart of culture,” he maintained.
The basis for that assertion is that “people turn to music to reflect their frustrations, to enjoy their celebrations, to react to what is going on in the world,” he argued.
None more so than Gen Z, who listen to Spotify for one hour and 20 minutes daily, according to figures from eMarketer; Spotify’s internal figures put it much higher – at two and a half hours.
Either way, it’s a significant amount of time – and why Spotify recently carried out new qualitative research to supplement its own-first-party data and round out its view of younger audiences.
“What they really are interested in is discovery,” Bertozzi reported. “They love to discover new content, and they love to feel like they’re curating their own experience, a unique experience.
“And this is where the opportunity for brands and advertisers really kicks in,” he added. “This is where we can bring the two areas together. And especially in podcasting, which is new but growing – that is where we have permission from the listeners to really have advertisers and brands as part of that.”
Spotify’s research uncovered three particular groups of Gen Z listener:
• Band of others: 58% are connected online with someone abroad; 38% describe themselves as global citizens.
• All the feels: Gen Z is happy to talk about and express their feelings, and 63% turn to music as part of that process.
• Surround sound: People feel they spend too much time on screens; 48% of Gen Z turn to audio – music or podcasts – to escape screens.
And the connections these groups make all have potential for brands exploring the idea of reaching a younger demographic via audio influencers.