Deezer study reveals that 63% of people in the UAE have turned to wellbeing audio content following 78% of people in Saudi Arabia and 76.6% in Egypt
A new study that surveyed 11,000 people across eight countries including the UAE, Saudi Arabia and Egypt reveals that more than 60% of listeners in the UAE are consuming romantic audio content during lockdown. This compares to a global average of 37%, while Saudi Arabia leads the way at 71%.
Relationship podcasts on Deezer have also seen a dramatic 145% increase in daily active users worldwide. People are now listening to 40 minutes of this content, up from an average of 20 minutes at the beginning of March.
Dr. Sarita Robinson, Principal Lecturer in the School of Psychology at the University of Central Lancashire, explained the scientific rationale behind this: “The rise in popularity of romantic music during lockdown could be driven by increases in people’s oxytocin levels. During times of stress, we are more likely to produce the love hormone oxytocin and this leads to more ‘tend-and-befriend’ behaviours.”2
Generational differences also come into play. Over 75% of Millennials, Gen Xers and Baby Boomers have been using audio content to relax and unwind with their partners across the region. In addition, Deezer’s ‘House of Love’ playlist is most popular among Gen Xers.
Making “us time” is especially important for couple households compared to family households (five or more people). They’re more likely to stream romantic music (88% compared to 53% living with one other person).
“Couples have been spending much more time together at home. This shared lockdown experience can really strengthen the bonds between people. Listening to romantic music and podcasts helps to create a sense of comfort and contentment during this highly unusual time,” noted Tarek Mounir, Deezer MENAT CEO.
The lockdown experience has proven more challenging for younger generations, who have been turning to music and podcasts to elevate their moods. Many Gen Zers (19%) and millennials (17%) reported a significant downturn in mood after two weeks of lockdown, compared to just 7% of those over 55. Meanwhile, people aged 45 to 54 have been coping better and mainly using music to “chill out” (59%).
Who you live with can also play a part. Surprisingly, those living with grandparents – many of whom are considered vulnerable – are most likely to stream music to avoid feeling lonely (60% vs. 35% of people who live alone). Over a third (44%) of adults with kids in the house have used music to enhance their moods during lockdown.
Listeners in all groups have also been discovering the joys of podcasts. Over 32% of people living with a partner and 50% of those who live with housemates are streaming podcasts. Meanwhile, 19% of people who live alone found that streaming podcasts improved their moods; this helps to explain why 33% of this group is listening to more podcasts and 11% have started for the first time during lockdown.
Wellbeing content focusing on relaxation, mindfulness and self-improvement has also helped people to get through lockdown in the Middle East. 63% of people in the UAE have turned to wellbeing audio content following 78% of people in Saudi Arabia and 76.6% in Egypt.
Deezer’s Tarek Mounir added: “This lockdown period has affected us all in different ways. The good news is that audio content is there to provide welcome relief when we need it the most. This is why we have created dedicated playlists and channels for our listeners. After all, we’re in this together.”