The podcast, an infuser of “sweetness” in search of democratization

The podcast, an aggregator of sweetness in a hostile world? This is one of the lessons of the 4th barometer “The French-es & the native podcast”, presented at the Paris podcast festival at the Gaîté-Lyrique on October 20. The consumers of these sound productions designed for digital are less likely to find the world “violent” (34%, compared to 44% for all French people questioned), “incomprehensible” (22%, compared to 29%) or “dangerous (14%, versus 24%). They are also more inclined to consider it “generous” (13%, versus 3%), “exciting” (14%, versus 6%) or “inventive” (11%, versus 4%).

“In a world where we are overwhelmed with information, the podcast appears as a place of refuge. It is an intimate medium that we choose to listen to. A daily companion that leads to new imaginations, underlines Nina Cohen, the director of the festival. This year we have chosen the theme of “the power of gentleness”, because we are convinced that the podcast is the medium of gentleness, whose primary virtue is listening. »

According to this study by Havas Paris-CSA (1), 32% of respondents (compared to 33% in 2021, and 22% in 2019) regularly listen to podcasts, including 12% every week (– 2 points over one year) . Facing the feeling that ” Everything is going too fast “ (tested by 89% of them), they believe that the podcast “lets take the time” (80%), “offers moments of sweetness” (83%), “Relieves daily stress” (81%), “softens the harshness, the violence of reality” (68%). And three quarters (76%) even claim to have already changed their minds or outlook thanks to this listening.

Hyperconnected followers

In addition to the qualities lent to listening to podcasts, this barometer has delivered each year since 2019 figures much awaited by professionals on the profile of consumers, their habits, their expectations or their level of tolerance to advertising… Because 63% choose free podcasts with an ad rather than a paid model.

However, the podcast listener is the target sought by brands: young people (35 years old on average), hyper-connected urbanites and hyper-consumers of new media. The latter favors listening to real-life stories (documentary, true stories, investigation, etc.), preferably on their smartphone (61%) and on the move in the morning (46%), often practicing another activity (cooking, sport, Internet browsing, cleaning, driving, etc.).

The challenge of democratization

“Podcast listening is stabilizing this year, agrees Nina Cohen. There remains a challenge of democratization for this cultural practice at a time when the French are rediscovering a taste for going out and are abandoning digital media a little. Like any emerging cultural practice, the podcast needs structuring. »

One of the objectives of the Paris Podcast Festival, co-founded in 2018 by the philosopher Thibaut de Saint Maurice, is “to support the structuring of the ecosystem with professionals, creators and brands, she continues. It also aims to introduce the practice of podcasting and to democratize it »with until Sunday October 23 discovery workshops, festive events, meetings, competitions and even a public prize on the site of the festival.

Millions of downloads

The main reasons why 68% of respondents do not listen to a podcast, according to the study, are that they do not know what it is (for 30%), that they do not think about it (20 %) or don’t know how to access it (3%).

Applications (Apple podcasts, Google podcasts, etc.) and music streaming platforms (Deezer, Spotify, etc.) are the preferred access routes. Podcasts like Transfer to Slate or Hugo Décrypte exceeded one million downloads in September 2022, according to theAlliance for Press and Media Figures. The same month, nearly 193 million podcasts (counting radio programs listened to later) had been listened to or downloaded worldwide, including 151 million in France, according to Médiamétrie (2).

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