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DMEXCO Recap: Why Germany is Listening Up to Podcasts

It’s no secret we’re experiencing a global podcast boom. But while the numbers show that podcasts are popular everywhere, they’re especially catching on in Germany. In 2018, there were 2,000 German-language podcasts on Spotify. In 2019, just a year later, there are now over 12,000.1 Beyond that, research shows that 44% of the German population listens to podcasts.2

At this year’s DMEXCO conference in Cologne, we explored this rise of podcasts in Germany through a series of conversations and events — breaking down how this global boom is taking shape in the country specifically.

The Unique Intimacy of Podcasts
On the Congress Stage, we spoke to Charlotte Roche, host of the popular Paardiologie podcast, in which she and her husband explore their 15-year relationship in all of its most intimate details. Roche sat down with Mo Traynor, head of business operations at Spotify Studios, to talk about why podcasts provide such a deeply personal listening experience. The host has become known for talking about the typically unspoken aspects of relationships, and examining how love can survive in these “forever” relationships. “Everything is still a taboo,” Roche said. “Everything human beings do in their lives should be shared. We should all speak up to share, so that these feelings become completely normal.”

The pair discussed why audio is a medium that lends itself to these types of honest, authentic conversations. “There’s a direct connection between the ear and the heart,” Roche said. “You can reach people on a strong emotional level.”

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More Content Than Ever
Throughout the conference, we also showcased the many Spotify Originals that have launched in Germany lately: from Podkinski to Muss das sein? to Friedemann & Freunde. All of these shows have launched within the last year, and they’ve all marked a new brand of personality-based podcasts that find success by prioritising the unique and intimate connection between host and listener. Of course, it was hard to talk about them without talking about Fest & Flauschig, one of the most popular podcasts in Germany which paved the way for these series.

Plus, we created a lot of buzz in the industry by signing two of the most popular podcasts in Germany as Spotify Exclusives: Gemischtes Hack and Herrengedeck. Both shows are constantly part of the top 10 on the German Spotify podcast charts, so it’s exciting to have them exclusively on the Spotify platform.

Why We’re Listening
But the rise of podcasts isn’t just tied to the surge of high-quality content, it’s also because people are simply listening to audio more than ever. Marco Bertozzi, Spotify’s VP of Ad Sales in EMEA, presented some of the findings from our recent Culture Next global trends report, which revealed that audio is woven into the fabric of daily life for Gen Zs. This trend is due in no small part to the innovation and ubiquity of streaming — through connected cars, gaming consoles, smart speakers, and more, sound surrounds us everyday. Plus, our research shows that headphones have become a ubiquitous part of daily life — so wherever people go, audio goes with them.

1 Spotify First Party Data, August 2019
2 G+J Mobile 360° Study, 2019

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