Media & Entertainment


It appears that Spotify’s podcast investments are paying off. For the first time, Spotify’s US podcast listenership will overtake Apple Podcasts’, according to eMarketer’s latest forecast. This year, 28.2 million people will listen to podcasts on Spotify at least monthly, while 28.0 million will listen via Apple Podcasts. Spotify has experienced significant growth in recent years; the company will grow 41.3% this year.

eMarketer analyst Blake Droesch, principal analyst Jeremy Goldman, and forecasting analyst at Insider Intelligence Peter Vahle discuss whether the Super Bowl delivered, what's fueling Spotify, how the podcast and social media worlds are blurring together, if reducing politics in the News Feed can help Facebook, why the shopping mall might make a comeback, what is the most relaxing song ever (statistically), and more.

After the COVID-19 shock of H1 2020, everyday life in China has gradually returned to the pre-pandemic norm, and economic activities have been on the rebound.

Early in the pandemic, digital audio took a huge hit in user engagement and in the amount of time listeners were spending with the medium. Many observers, including us, predicted dire results in the short term. However, the rest of the year played out very differently than those early weeks, and we ultimately revised our 2020 estimate from a 1.0% decline in the time US adults spent with digital audio to 8.3% growth, for a total of 1 hour, 29 minutes (1:29) per day.

eMarketer principal analysts Jeremy Goldman and Jillian Ryan, along with senior analyst at Insider Intelligence Sara M. Watson, discuss what a reimagined workplace looks like, The New York Times digital transformation, what big tech can expect from the Biden Administration, whether the world is getting less colorful, podcasts as a direct line to consumers, how many people live underwater, and more.

In this episode, the 'Behind the Numbers' crew new and old—former eMarketer principal analyst and now vice president of content studio Paul Verna, former eMarketer senior analyst and now market strategy manager at Spotify Bryan Yeager, director of content studio Daniel Caridi, director of report editing Rahul Chadha, and podcast host Marcus Johnson tell the story of how and why 'Behind the Numbers' got started, our favorite episodes, and what we expect the future of podcasting to look like. We hope you enjoy. And thank you so much to everyone who's ever listened for helping to make this show what it is.

Earlier this week, Mars Wrigley’s M&M's brand gave fans a sneak peak of its Super Bowl ad via Zoom, its first-ever "virtual" debut. It’s just one of several efforts the company is working on leading up to Sunday’s big game.

eMarketer principal analysts Mark Dolliver and Sara M. Watson, vice president of research Jennifer Pearson, and junior analyst at Insider Intelligence Blake Droesch discuss the pivotal decision of Facebook's Oversight Board to ban former President Donald Trump, private search engines making a push, whether social media damages teenagers' health, whether baby boomers will want to shop online post-pandemic, Apple's reported paywalled podcast platform, what happens to astronauts when they're in space, and more.

Within digital media channels, probably the longest-standing gap in measurement information lies with the walled gardens—a group that includes Google, Facebook, a host of other walled social platforms, and Amazon. Some in the industry are also talking more of walled gardens—or attempts to build them—in the connected TV (CTV) or over-the-top (OTT) space.

eMarketer principal analyst Nicole Perrin and forecasting analyst at Insider Intelligence Eric Haggstrom discuss Google's Q4 performance and what's driving it forward. They then talk about YouTube's shift to connected TVs, whether Americans are becoming less tolerant of digital ads, and what to make of the UK watchdog's investigation into Google replacing cookies.

The convergence of media and commerce is inching closer. Nearly a year after adding a direct checkout feature to its platform, NBCUniversal is investing further in the commerce space.

More brands and agencies are using connected TV (CTV) as a direct-response performance channel. SteelHouse’s CTV ad platform saw a nearly 70% year-over-year increase in the number of advertisers compared to Q4 2019.

Early in 2020, as the pandemic was getting underway, Americans flocked to their TV sets at a rate unseen in years. Initially, US households were glued to the news, as uncertainty over the coronavirus drove viewership. In the following weeks, the TVs mostly stayed on, as the initial wave of lockdowns kept Americans stuck on the couch with lots of new time to kill.

eMarketer principal analysts Jeremy Goldman and Jillian Ryan, along with junior analyst at Insider Intelligence Blake Droesch, discuss the work-from-anywhere future, how this years' Super Bowl will be unique, why some retailers are skipping returns, Spotify's emotion-based recommendations, what customers want from chatbots, the ideal length of time you should dunk your Oreo in milk, and more.

eMarketer junior forecasting analyst Zach Goldner and senior forecasting analyst at Insider Intelligence Oscar Orozco discuss how US media use will change in 2021: Are fewer Americans watching TV, which digital devices are being used more, and how much time is spent with TikTok and Disney+? They then talk about how much people are willing to pay for TV streaming, virtually co-viewing digital content, and whether video games have replaced music as the most important aspect of youth culture.

Amid the pandemic, US adults spent 1 hour more per day on digital activities (across all devices) than they did in 2019, according to eMarketer’s latest time spent forecast from Insider Intelligence. Total digital time is now on track to surpass 8 hours by the end of 2022.

eMarketer forecasting analyst at Insider Intelligence Peter Vahle discusses the latest podcast deals and what the mean, how listenership is changing, and the state of podcast advertising. He then talks about the recent Unity and Snap mobile gaming partnership, YouTube's 15-second audio ads, and which sports Americans are currently most comfortable attending in-person.