Audio Consumption

By Jeremiah Thompson

An American’s life is always busy, so it can be difficult to just sit down and watch Netflix or YouTube. As mobile as media consumption has become, there are points where one just doesn’t have the time to watch the newest YouTube video. Audio consumption takes up this empty space of time.

During those times, people just throw on earbuds and listens to music, an audiobook, or even a podcast. People are always consuming media, but seem to absorb more audio than video media. This discrepancy between audio and visual media was not always so wide, however, it only continues to get wider.

When a person is walking to class or going to work, or even driving their car somewhere, the first thing they do is turn on the music on the phone or radio.People rarely walk around without earbuds in their ears, jamming to the newest song or episode of a podcast.

Video Consumption is Going Down

According to the common cliche, people are visually driven. This human drive for visual stimulus can be seen in the marketing world. Renderfrost, a website that collects many statistics, states that “Marketers who use video[s] grow revenue 49 percent faster than non-video users.” Websites who optimize for videos receive more traffic and video advertisements seem to reach more people. Apparently, videos are very appealing to the average consumer.

This appeal can clearly be seen by the usage of YouTube. 

According to YouTube, more than one billion hours were viewed on YouTube in 2019. Nine years in the past, two billion hours of videos were watched daily in 2010. The watch time on YouTube videos has been cut in half in almost a decade. 

YouTube doesn’t point this out however, even though the total watch time on the website is decreasing rapidly, they point out their increased usership, They proudly state, on their website, that they have one billion hours of daily watch time on their platform. Yet, this number is so much shorter than it was nine years ago. Where did all the consumers go?

Audio Consumption is Going Up

As opposed to the falling hours of videos consumed over the years, audio consumption is rising. In podcasting alone, there has been a 48 percent increase in listenership in only two years. In terms of radio, its use commands 70 percent of waking hours, mainly when people are on the go. Music and Podcasts are becoming most popular amongst the Gen Z, to the point where they are replacing watching videos according to iHeartMedia.

All this  means that there has been an exponential increase of audio consumption within a couple of years.

Why This Matters: The YouTuber vs the Podcaster

The age of YouTube may have peaked.  As the generation that had brought YouTube its viewership age and mature, they start to watch less YouTube. These people just don’t have the time required to sit down and watch videos.

For all those who desire to participate in the world of the Internet, YouTube may not be the best place to start. YouTube, and its 75 million content creators, are taking part in a failing platform. However, Podcasting may be the best place to go. As the numbers show, podcasting and radio are increasing exponentially as people are getting busier and busier.

Since it’s important to go where the audience is as well, podcasting and radio is the best place to be at this time. Content creators should begin podcasting and exploring the freedom of the internet through audio creation. YouTube is confining, its time for content creators to spread their wings and explore the many different platforms available to them through podcasting. People have more time to listen to audio than to sit down and watch videos. It’s time to take advantage of that and make audio content over video content.