As technology seemingly continues to improve on a daily basis, the world of digital devices never stops moving.
Every year, the standard of digital products and their performance reaches new heights, with the biggest technology brands competing to maintain and grow their share of the market.
These trends are no different when it comes to digital audio. New technologies and methods of consuming audio are on the rise, following years of focus on video and other interactive entertainment that is more technically advanced, as both consumers and manufacturers rediscover the beauty of audio entertainment and its unique place in the media consumption landscape.
While forms of audio entertainment, particularly radio, have never gone out of fashion, the Covid-19 pandemic turned out to be a catalyst for the resurgence of audio as a mainstream form of media consumption, as people were suddenly confined to their homes and looked for ways to stay entertained and informed.
Read on to find out more about digital audio in 2022, and where it is headed in the coming years.
Consumption is booming
As mentioned during the introduction, consumption of digital audio content is currently booming. One particular area of the digital audio industry that has grown significantly since the Covid-19 pandemic is the creation of podcasts, with consumers being attracted to the experience of listening to others discuss, confer, create and entertain, especially during a time when social interaction was heavily limited.
The simplicity of podcasts, in that they take little to no effort at all to consume and can be left in the background to serve as ambiance, makes for a form of entertainment that is relaxing and low maintenance, perfect while completing work, studies, or household chores.
In the United States alone, more than one-third of adults consume podcasts on a monthly basis, with 90% of these listening from home.
Smart speakers are here to stay
Another digital audio format that has taken off in recent years is smart speakers. Smart speakers, also known as audio assistants, have risen in popularity in recent years as they improve in their applications, and consumers become familiarized with having an audio device ‘listening’ in their homes.
Smart speakers offer their users a whole host of benefits, with applications spanning from easily accessible entertainment and music, to scheduling, calendars, and reminders that help you to stay efficient and organized in your daily activities.
Completing google searches can be done via voice – if you wanted to access Lenovo.com, for example, it would just be a case of saying this to your smart speaker.
Integration with existing user accounts, such as Amazon’s Alexa is linked to your Amazon account, means there is great potential for e-commerce through these devices too, as users can order products through simple voice commands, making the process quick and easy.
Social Audio is taking off
A recent contender in the digital audio landscape is social audio. Of course, social media platforms continue to be a constant presence in our lives, and social audio is the latest feature of these platforms designed to enhance the social experience.
An example of successful social audio is Twitter Spaces which allows users to host a virtual chat room with designated speakers, with everyone else being able to listen in.
In this way, it’s like a live podcast or a radio talk show, highly personalized to the user and they will be alerted to spaces created by people that they follow.