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Targeting young cricket fans? This year the avenues are more innovative with audience increasingly listening to official team podcasts

Targeting young cricket fans? This year the avenues are more innovative with audience increasingly listening to official team podcasts
Digital audio platforms like Spotify have a 7% unique incremental reach to GenZ compared to TV and radio, 5% more for social media

With two new teams, a new team composition, and a longer season (74 matches compared to last year’s 60), the T20 league in 2022 is bigger than ever. Brands are fiercely competing to get their ads in front of the millions of fans tuning in. The real struggle, though, is capturing the attention of today’s youngest working generation—Gen Z and millennials. In a digitally distracted world with endless posts and videos literally at their fingertips, it’s a tough task to create ads that stop them scrolling.

The solution could lie in audio advertising through podcasts where your brand message is heard, in the moment, by intent listeners.

Sports and music share a strong connection. For example, when something happens in the world of sport, you can see the action on Spotify, the platform where listeners spend the highest amount of time compared to any other music streaming app in India. When Neeraj Chopra won the Gold at the Tokyo Olympics 2021, there was a 32% rise in the Daily Average Users (DAU) of the Spotify playlist ‘Come On India’.1

The good news for marketers is that 87% of the cricket fans on Spotify are Gen Z or millennials2. 83% of these millennials feel that audio is the most immersive form of media and 69% say they actually like audio advertising1 because it lets them use their imagination to picture the story. In a world with too much visual stimulation, audio is an escape.

What is even more promising is the fact that cricket fans are inherently great listeners.

When you enjoy cricket matches live from the stadium, there is a palpable energy and buzz in the air. What translates the highs and lows of the match and the rush of every hit and wicket to the millions watching the T20 series on screens?

Commentary.

Audio commentary is crucial to the enjoyment of cricket. As visual and physical as the game is, it is the commentary that keeps the viewers’ interest alive. In fact, their ears are tuned in even when they move away from the screen. So it’s no surprise that 2 out of 3 Spotify Free users are also active cricket fans. The number is growing—from 2020 to 2021, there was a 113% increase in cricket-related streams on the platform.1

A recent hit on Spotify is The Royals, the official podcast of Rajasthan Royals, India’s first-ever IPL champions. The 2022 season talks through various aspects of an IPL season, with anecdotes, conversation and insights from the Royals players, coaching staff and management. Every episode is a treasure trove for fans who get to hear tales of hits, & misses and what goes into the making of an IPL team.6

Marketers who sponsor the podcast can get player shoutouts, in-show branding and logo presence on the show as well as Rajasthan Royals’ social media handles, which have a reach of over 4.4 million. It’s not just audio ads. You can also launch sponsored sessions on Spotify with premium videos and drive traffic through clickable display ads. Compared to local media, Spotify gives a significant incremental reach, particularly among Gen Z and millennial audiences: a whopping 7% more compared to TV and radio, and 5% more compared to social platforms.3

Attuned as they are to audio commentary, cricket viewers are more receptive to audio advertising. A 2021 study4 by Neuro-Insights, an Australian neuroanalytics firm, showed that digital audio is significantly more impactful on listeners than radio. Listeners of digital audio engage more keenly with ads, feel emotions with higher intensity, and have higher long-term recall of the ads, including details.

The cricket fans on Spotify are also high-intent customers. 91% of them are active online shoppers. 30.6% plan to buy a car soon. 1 in 4 eat out at least once a week. And 1 in 3 luxury buyers is a Spotify user.5 Add to this, the ability to reach a diverse cricket fan base including families, women, gamers and early tech adopters.

Essentially, Spotify offers multi-format, high-impact advertising opportunities across audio and video, mobile and desktop screens. Each of these can be targeted by age, gender and city, a key lever for advertising during the T20 league when city-based rivalry and competition among different IPL team supporters is at an all-time high.

So, find the moment, spot the mood, pick the music. And you’re all set to cut through the clutter and reach your target audience on this unconventional platform.

Sources

  1. Spotify internal data
  2. GlobalWebIndex. IPL Cricket Fans. Waves: Q1-Q4 2021 (India Only)
  3. Kantar & Spotify, 2021. India survey
  4. Sonic Science research, Neuro-Insight and Spotify, June 2021
  5. GlobalWebIndex. IPL Cricketing Fans. Waves: Q1-Q4 2021 (India Only)
  6. The Rajasthan Royals podcast has been produced by Ideabrew Studios, the production house that offers branded podcast solutions.
Disclaimer: This is a sponsored post in partnership with Spotify.

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