Pottermore Publishing
Audio Engagement Research
What is the role of spoken word audio in the lives of children and what can be done to create truly engaging audio-focused experiences?
Key Information
Mixed methods study with over 3250 participants reached across four territories
Conducted through online methods to comply with COVID-19 regulations
Co-creation with families to inform the development of exciting audio experiences

The spoken word audio industry is growing at a rapid pace, but little is known about how or why children interact with the format or what they consider to be an optimal audio experience.


This is why Pottermore Publishing approached KI – to help them understand the size and shape of audio in the lives of the audience we are experts at connecting with (children and families!).


Adopting a mixed methods approach we reached over 3200 families with children aged 7-12 through online surveys, and over 50 more through qualitative interviews, across the UK, USA, Canada and Australia. The breadth of the study meant we were able to connect with children across distinct developmental stages and audio engagement levels (e.g. non-engagers, casual engagers, daily engagers). 

At first we needed a baseline to work from. The online survey, specifically catered to the family audience, was focused on understanding core audio engagement behaviours and intentions – to help us gauge the size and appetite of the market across our key territories. Alongside audio we also explored children’s video game and video watching habits, allowing us to compare attitudes and behaviours across content categories. 

The qualitative element of the study was all conducted in-house, with our moderators connecting with families across multiple time zones through semi-structured interviews and focus groups. Whilst mostly discussion based, the sessions also involved elements of co-creation, exploring future content ideas with families by reflecting on personal audio experiences and content they engaged with in a pre-task. Using a pre-task to share various audio experiences meant we could explore the preferences of both current and non-engagers of audio across various content formats and styles.


By triangulating data from market, quantitative and qualitative investigations, we were able to paint a complete picture of the role of audio in the lives of children. This included key listening behaviours and contexts, platform use and title discovery, key drivers and barriers – and ultimately, what makes the best audio experience for children. As our insights and methods were strategically focused, we were also able to provide detailed recommendations on brand-relevant audio investment opportunities, as well as possible execution ideas.

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