EXCLUSIVE: Spotify survey reveals best time to promote content

Video podcasts are more likely to be consumed during the evenings, report says

Podcast fans are more likely to watch video podcasts in the evenings, according to new research by Spotify, while listening to audio-only shows is more popular in the mornings and afternoons.

The audio giant published its Spotify Fan Study: Podcast Edition 2023 this morning, which highlights the best practices that podcasters can implement for promotion and discoverability, based on data collected from listener consumption of video podcasts and a survey of 1,400 Spotify Premium subscribers in the UK, US, Canada, and Australia who listen to a podcast at least once a month. 

“Spotify's Fan Study gives creators insights that they can immediately put into action,” said Spotify for Podcasters brand marketing and associate director Clara Prieto. “Regardless of what stage a podcaster is in, we know they all want to grow their shows and foster a dedicated and engaged community."

“With access to more data and global listening trends, creators can reach wider audiences, build meaningful connections with fans, and maximise their presence on Spotify."

Podcast listeners are more likely to consume audio-only podcasts from 1am to 5pm, while watching video from 6pm to midnight, according to the study. As a result, video podcasters are advised to launch new episodes and direct listeners to their video podcast episodes across social media ahead of the evening in order to take advantage of the times when people are most engaged with screens.

For podcasters that have not yet started to use video, the report shows that comedy is the most popular genre in that space (27.55%) followed by leisure (16.21%), so those that have shows which fall into these categories can experiment with using short-form video for better promotion across social media. 

Podcasters can also continue to find success with audio-only shows, as the study highlights a listener spike during weekday commuting time, with listener consumption up at 78% for 8am and 5pm, as well as spiking during parts of the day when listeners are busy with other activities such as doing chores or working out. 

Other highlights from the report show the best times of the year that podcasters can promote new series when they want to gain new audiences and listeners. Looking at the number of listeners who tuned into new shows from January to December 2022, the most popular months were January, March, July and October which mark holiday periods like the start of the new year and summer. Podcasters are advised to build their social media and marketing strategies around these peak periods. 

For better engagement with listeners, a survey that Spotify conducted showed that implementing features such as Q&As with customised questions for fans can be helpful, as 73% of respondents said they are interested in finding more opportunities to interact with their favourite podcast hosts. The Q&A feature can also encourage listeners to stay loyal to the show, as the report showed that listeners who answered questions from hosts are likely to consume 2.35 times more hours of the show than listeners who didn’t. 

Podcasters can also take advantage of the listeners’ close trust and engagement with their favourite hosts to cross-promote their content. The survey showed that 54% of respondents find new podcasts by hearing them on a show they already listen to. 

Spotify for Podcasters started rolling out new tools for creators globally in October this year, which include show page customisations that can lead to better discoverability such as host recommendations on show pages, as well as monetisation tools like promotional banners for subscriber-only content and access to the Automated Ads Programme. Users can also access impression analytics for their podcasts to understand how their listeners are engaging with their content. 

“Understanding global trends and listening patterns is so important to growing as a creator,” said Jon Youshaei, host of Created With Jon Youshaei. “Spotify's 2023 Fan Study was especially helpful in understanding how we should grow our podcast moving forward.”