News and Metrics for Audio and Podcasts

If you own written intellectual property, an audio version will build your brand faster and provide an income stream.
Sound Understanding can help build your assets by developing mobile delivery of audio to mobiles and smart speakers.
This is a rapidly expanding business because people are choosing words to be heard rather than words to be read.

Check out these links to find the latest audio metrics:

  • 15 November 2018 More audio growth!  through smart speakers are proving surprisingly popular with older people as they are less fiddly to use than other technology according to the Times.
  • 29 October 2018 The Financial Times is the latest publisher to launch an audio daily news briefing on smart speakers like Google Home and Amazon Alexa as well as the usual podcast platforms. According to Reuters they are using audio to drive subscriptions.
  • 29 Oct 2018 New smart speaker owners are emerging as a distinct audience in terms of user profile, behaviour and media habits and that reveals opportunities for publishing according to The Smart Audio.
  • 25 October 2018 Newspaper publishers move into audio. The FT launches its daily audio news.
  • 11 October 2018 Apple is close to rolling out its new audiobook platform.
  • 10 September 2018 Podcast ad sales in the United States were up 86% last year at $314 million, and are projected to grow to $659 million by 2020. There’s plenty of money in our ears (especially as podcasts eat further into traditional radio listening),
  • August 2018 Telegraph Media Group plans a new chatbot for audio. A voice-led Artificial Intelligence (AI) technology that will drive up repeat visitors,
  • 2 August 2018 What is the most successful smart speaker on the market? According to Fast Company news it’s the Google system that is best.
  • 2 August 2018  Amazon, Apple, and Google each have high-priority projects creating a general purpose, in-ear computer that allows consumers to leave their phone in the desk drawer and listen to the information they need on the go… they call the device a ‘hearable’ and of course it will need great audio services.
  • 29 July 2018 Great article in the Guardian that describes how it is ‘brainy books’ that are making money
  • 19 July 2018 BBC’s Newsnight  discusses the growth of audio which is described as ‘absolutely surging’ …
  • 19 June 2018 Google launches their own podcast channel, called Google Podcasts, which will use Google’s recommendation algorithms in an effort to connect people with shows they might enjoy based on their listening habits
  • 19 June 2018; Reuters survey on audio and podcasting spanned 22 nations, which gives a good comparative look across countries. From the report, the top three countries with the highest proportions of surveyed respondents who indicated having accessed a podcast in the past month were all in Asia: South Korea (58%), Hong Kong (55%), and Taiwan (47%). The report suggested that this is likely tied to those countries having stronger smartphone penetrations together with “high levels of social sharing.” the US (33%), Australia (33%), and the UK (18%) which suggests that there is a big market opportunity in the UK. Read more here.
  • 17 June 2018; The Times columnist India Knight extols the joys of audiobooks.
  • 15 June 2018; Reuters report that audio is attracting new renewed interest from publishers as mobile listening grows and on-demand technology in the car disrupts linear radio listening. At home, voice-activated speakers like the Amazon Echo and Google Home are creating new opportunities to distribute linear podcasts as well as create new audio products. Reuters reference the iTunes analytics showing , that most podcasts are listened to for at least 90 per cent of their duration. Read more here.
  • 14 June 2018; ‘Word to be read’ is losing audience to ‘word to be heard’ according to report from Mike Shatzkin who is a widely-acknowledged thought leader about digital change in the book publishing industry who suggests that the ground is shifting so that “words-to-be-heard” frequently engages more consumers than “words-to-be-read”, See his blog here.
  • 11 June 2018; Podcast revenues are growing rapidly; they’re up 86 percent from last year, and the Interactive Advertising Bureau thinks they’ll grow another 110 percent over the next three years, at which point they’ll hit $659 million.
  • 9 June 2018; Observer/Publishers Association
    Audio is the fastest growing area of consumer publishing according to The Guardian which referenced the Publishing Association figures for audio growth saying spending on audiobooks has more than doubled in the past five years, from £12m in 2013 to £31m last year, according to new figures from the Publishers Association in its report here.
  • 7 June 2017; Audio book unit sales are still growing – research from the Audio Book Association showing industry sales grew by 33.9% in 2017 is available here and here the ABA explores the research that shows audio book listeners are also podcast listeners.
  • 23 Apr 2018; Google has a new podcasting strategy that completely reimagines how people find and listen to shows. Podcasts will show up in Google Search as a “first-class citizen” alongside the text, image, and video results that we are used to seeing. The podcast listening experience will be seamless across devices and contexts. Google audio search will double the audience for audio.
  • 19 April 2018; Smart speaker ownership among Britons has doubled since last autumn, new research from YouGov shows.
    YouGov’s Smart Speaker report indicates that while just one in twenty (5%) Brits owned one of the devices in Q3 2017, the latest research carried out in Q1 2018 shows it has doubled to one in ten (10%). In the USA there is a smart speaker in one in seven homes. Read the article here.
  • 15 April 2018; The BBC reports that audio book growing popularity is largely driven by downloads from commuters.
  • 9 April 2018; The Times editorial suggests that the growth of the market for digital downloads is a modern adaptation of how audiences have enjoyed literature for millennia, through an oral tradition. Young men (25-44) are the growth area, smartphones and cost-effective data plans seem to have expanded their appetite for the wo