Spotify, the streaming music site, has seen significant shifts in device usage and in the type of audio that users across Southeast Asia are listening to during lockdowns, which has potentially important ramifications for marketers.

With consumers confined to their homes, more people are now using devices like desktops, TVs, smart speakers and gaming consoles to stream audio. While that trend could be anticipated, less obvious has been the way younger users are turning to audio to help cope with the emotional states they are experiencing during the pandemic.

“Gen Z and millennials are using audio to cope with anxiety and sleep challenges as part of their overall wellness,” Jan-Paul Jeffrey, head of marketing for Asia at Spotify, told The Drum.

“Based on trends and insights from recent research we conducted across Southeast Asia, 58% told us audio has shifted from something they tune into, to something that now surrounds their everyday life,” he continued.

That’s also evident in the sorts of playlists that are being created: since March the platform has seen a 1,400% increase in Work-From-Home-themed playlists and a 1,000% increase in Education-themed playlists. If you want to get a bit more niche, May registered a 120% rise in baking playlists, including 2,750 dedicated to banana bread globally.

“Our brand partners can use this intelligence to take cues from our listeners, enabling them to focus on audio experiences that match the tone of the moment, without disruption,” Jeffrey explained.

Spotify’s research also found that a similar proportion (60%) of Gen Z and millennials in the region think audio is a welcome escape from the visual stimulation that exists everywhere today.

Jeffrey further noted that 41% of Gen Z is using voice activation to search for things they’ve found on visual media. “This tells us that the usage of audio and voice will continue to rise, providing an excellent opportunity for brands to get interactive with audio,” he said.

Sourced from The Drum; additional content by WARC staff