Is audio taking over visual?

Content Marketing

September 2, 2021

Audio content across social media platforms has grown incredibly over the past few years. With the new edition of Twitter Spaces and Facebook Live Audio Rooms, social channels are paying attention to what their users want from the platform and their evolving content consumption preferences.

As we know, podcasts are so popular these days with tons of different topics and series to listen to. Not only are individuals jumping on the trend, companies are now using podcasts in their marketing plans. The added benefit to podcasts is that people can listen to them offline, with the option to download podcasts on the likes of Spotify and Apple Podcasts. Whereas, other social media content can only be viewed when the user is connected to internet. You can listen to audio whenever and wherever!

Podcasts and other platforms, such as Clubhouse, allow companies to get more information out there in one space in a potentially more engaging format than wordy blogs, or heavily text-based social media imagery. However, finding the right people to talk, recording, editing, and sharing can be a fairly long-winded process compared to visual. There’s a lot more to audio content than you may think…

So, how is audio content performing? According to data, weekly online audio listening is estimated at 176 million, or 62% of the US’s 12+ population. This is 7 million more, or 60% of the population, as opposed to 2020, an all-time high for this category! As expected, Gen Z accounts for the highest percentage of audio listening, but the other generations aren’t too far behind:

  • Age 12 to 34: 86%
  • Age 35 to 54: 72%
  • Age 55+: 46%

It’s beneficial for companies to see that audio is widely used across all age groups and it’s expected that the average time spent listening to audio will rise in 2022. Something to consider is whether Covid-19 has had an impact on people listening to more audio content than they had been previously, with the additional spare time that lockdowns provided and the much-needed screen break that audio-only content can offer. But with our busy lives coming back, will this increased interest continue now that we are out of lockdown?

Is audio taking over visual? Without a doubt, visual content is continuing to be popular and widely used. Visuals are a way to quickly and easily get a message across, appeal to your audience, and entice them into your product or services. With visual content, it shouldn’t take long for your followers to see what you’re posting about, whereas with audio, they have to take time out to listen.

We envisage the sweet spot of a successful content strategy going forwards is to create a hybrid of visual and audio elements. Developing valuable audio content which features talks by and conversations with relevant experts will add credibility and generate greater interest, while promoting this content through visual means (imagery, infographics, videos, GIFs, etc.) will raise awareness, catch eyes and attention while a user scrolls through their social feeds or inboxes – adding up-front context, and ultimately boosting engagement.

It will be interesting to see how audio and visual develop over the coming years and the new trends that will arise.


If you haven’t started using audio within your marketing plan, now may be the time to do so!
Get in touch with us to see what type of audio content will best suit your audience:
[email protected]