Exploring the Next Phase Pt 2: Searching for Connection

Lauren D. Williams, Senior Director Strategic Audio + Vertical MktgMay 14, 2020

Based on an Exclusive Pandora Listener Study

As humans, we all crave connection. We want to feel connected to ourselves, to our communities and, of course, to our families and friends. But, how are those needs being met when we are six feet apart?

Technology is powering connection.

Thanks in part to advancements in technology, we now have more ways to stay connected with family, coworkers, teachers and healthcare providers. This new normal has wildly expedited the adoption and use of certain technologies, blazing the path for connectivity for years to come.

We tapped into 1st party data via Soundboard—our proprietary panel of 75,000 of our listeners—to get real-time, first-hand responses from the consumers you are trying to reach. Fielded from April 10-15, 2020, this study asked listeners to share how COVID-19 has changed how they are using technology to stay up-to-date on education priorities, healthcare needs and entertainment.

Today, we’ll explore just that…

Pick me! My (virtual) hand is raised.

As the school year gradually comes to a close, one thing is certain: parents have taken on a new role as primary educators. Beyond the online coursework provided from schools, virtual learning options such as Khan Academy and Google Classroom have allowed parents to innovatively upgrade their homeschooling and provide children the tools to stay on track with their school work.

  • 56% of Pandora Parents with children under 18 are acting as the primary educator for their children
  • 45% of Pandora Parents with children under 18 are using online course work to homeschool their children
    • Google Classroom - 7%
    • Khan Academy - 3%

Additionally, as the future of many businesses continue to be unknown, unemployment numbers skyrocket and workers are furloughed, our listeners are considering all available options—including going back to school to gain knowledge about an industry they previously have never worked in. In fact, Hispanic and Black American audiences are more likely to enroll and consider online courses in the near future.

  • 27% of Pandora listeners are considering to enroll in online educational courses within the next 3 months (e.g. undergraduate, post-graduate, trade school, etc.)
    • HA18+ – 125 INDEX
    • AA18+ – 155 INDEX
  • 45% of Pandora A18+ who are employed would consider enrolling in online courses if their job becomes impacted
    • AA 25-54 - 151 Index
    • HA25-54 – 117 Index

A DM a day, keeps the doctor away.

While the world buzzes on about COVID-19, we have to remember pre-existing conditions still remain. In fact, almost two thirds of our listeners already take some form of prescription medication and of those, an overwhelming majority plan to maintain doing so despite what it might cost. Because of this, telehealth sessions have exploded so that doctors can be there when patients need it most. And this trend will continue to be utilized at high levels even after the current crisis abates.

  • 37% of Pandora A18+ have chronic health conditions themselves, or someone in their household suffers from one
  • 62% of Pandora listeners 18+ take prescription medications and of those 97% plan to maintain medications during COVID-19, despite associated costs
  • 23% of A18+ are seeing their doctor through a virtual/video visit for existing health conditions
  • 19% of A18+ are seeing their doctor through a virtual/video visit for new health conditions

Swipin’ right.

Since the early 2010s, we have seen a boom in mobile devices. While it’s easy to take our mobile phones for granted, most of us consider it to be the most important device that we own. It’s almost like our 5th limb! But in the midst of staying home, our mobile phones have not only become essential but the apps within them are mini personal assistants to help us stay entertained, informed, stocked, and you guessed it, connected. And we’re all doing it— younger audiences are engaging in more video entertainment, remote workers are chatting via video conferencing apps, and parents are staying stocked up on essentials by using grocery apps.

When asked what type of apps they are spending more time with, they answered:

  • 54% of A18+ with video entertainment apps, A18-24 – 128 Index
  • 54% of A18+ with video conferencing apps, Remote Workers – 141 Index
  • 44% of A18+ with social media apps, Women 18+ – 124 Index
  • A18+ using apps for shopping (26%) and grocery/food (22%), Parents – 119 Index, HA Parents – 145 Index, AA Parents – 133 Index

When asked to rate what type of apps has made their lives easier or more convenient in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, they answered:

  • 86% Video Conferencing (e.g. Zoom, Go-To Meeting, Google Hangouts)
  • 70% Grocery or Food Delivery (e.g. Instacart, DoorDash, GrubHub)
  • 69% Video (e.g. YouTube, Netflix)
  • 68% Shopping (e.g. Amazon, Target)
  • 64% Music (e.g. Pandora, Spotify, Apple Music)
  • 45% Social media (e.g. Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, Marco Polo)

The Ultimate Connector

After checking in with our listeners again, it’s obvious they are craving connection and are getting it through technologically driven education, healthcare and app resources. While technology has provided exciting ways that have advanced our lifestyles, it’s still important to recognize the flip side: so. much. screentime.

So when we need relief from our screens and search for real authentic connection, what do we do? We turn to sound.

Sound has ALWAYS been a reliable tool to connect people together, and that power only becomes stronger during a crisis.

So, what does all of this mean for you and how should you take action?

Listen. Again, this is the most important part of the conversation with consumers. Understanding how and why consumers are utilizing apps, telehealth and educational resources is key. Brands should find ways to communicate resources available to make daily tasks easier.

Explore. The biggest mistake you can make as a brand is to be absent. Finding authentic ways to be present, especially during a time when consumers are craving connection most, is key.

Activate. Finding meaningful ways to connect with consumers right now is challenging. However, sound is a powerful method of connection—to our memories, our emotions and to those around us. And when you connect with a listener, you build trust, affinity, and loyalty. This is a great time to expand your audio strategy and highlight the technology that provides the connection consumers are craving.

Be on the lookout for the last episode: Consistency is Still Key. Until then, continue to poke around SoundCheck for additional insights or reach out to your sales rep for more information.

Source: Pandora Soundboard, COVID-19 Verticals Study, (N=2,860), April 2020

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