Initially a global phenomenon, it did not take long for podcasts to reach the borders of Europe. France is the latest victim, where many listeners say they have succumbed to this brand new trend. Over the past two years, the number of unique monthly podcast listeners has gone up by three millions and has reached a total of 4.4 million listeners as of September 2021. In 2021, 14 percent of French respondents claimed that they enjoyed podcasts every week, while 23 percent stated that they enjoyed them on a monthly basis. As of August 2022, Transfert was the most-downloaded podcast in France.
The flexibility offered by this new medium has appealed to all types of consumers and lifestyles. Indeed, more than half of podcast listeners aged between 25 and 34 years old claim that they could not do without listening to them. Smartphones are by far the most popular device used by listeners, followed by laptops and tablets. Among the apps used to listen to podcasts, Apple Podcasts came in first position before Spotify. Interests are as varied as consumer profiles and the topics listened to by the French ranged from general news to culture (music, cinema, fashion), as well as societal trends and science.
However, podcasts are not always the prerogative of individuals or popularization. Indeed, a new type of podcasts has been popularized with the emergence of branded podcasts, i.e. podcasts created for and by companies. It is not surprising that the high level of engagement generated by listening to podcasts didn’t go unnoticed by companies - used wisely, a branded podcast can be a very valuable asset in terms of brand building, even more powerful than a simple advertisement. As of June 2019, 37 new branded podcasts were indeed accounted for, which is almost as much as the whole previous year. As the podcasting industry is still young, there is no doubt that the coming years will witness its evolution and adaptability to an increasingly demanding and eager audience.