How we used our unique WhatsApp tool to help the​ BBC understand audio decision making

6 March 2024 by
2 minutes read
How we used our unique WhatsApp tool to help the​ BBC understand audio decision making

The brief 

The audio market has undergone revolutionary changes over the last​ 5 years, and with that, the way people consume content has fundamentally changed too.

Smartphones, 4G and 5G and WiFi have meant that on-demand streaming services are increasingly dominant.​ People want more control over their entertainment choices, and they need flexibility to suit their busy lives.

The BBC therefore needed to understand how people made listening decisions in the new audio landscape. ​And, critically, how BBC Sounds could develop to remain relevant and valued to its listeners. ​

The core focus for this project was the Millennial and GenZ audience.

The solution

We needed to get close to listener behaviour, and designed a longitudinal approach that enabled us to be with listeners where ever they were – so we used a WhatsApp diary. This meant we could capture live feedback from participants whenever they interacted with audio platforms.​

Participants recorded their listening behaviours and experiences through WhatsApp using video, audio and imagery, which we then analysed through Whycatcher.

We also:​

  • Conducted face to face immersion interviews​
  • Used a behavioural change exercise​

The result

The research was well received by the BBC and provided insights that fed directly into:​

  • Immediate changes to tactical messaging​
  • Marketing executions and strategy​
  • Product development for both:​
    • content​
    • functionality ​
  • Specific approaches needed for:​
    • acquisition of new listeners​
    • retention of ‘newbie’ listeners 

This research was also presented at Qual360 by our very own Alex Johnston, as well as our BBC client.


This project heavily replied on WhatsApp diaries, which are a great way to really understand your audience and their experiences. Because let’s face it, nothing quite beats virtually being in a room with the participants in-the-moment. If you’d like to know more about WhatsApp or anything we offer on Whycatcher, get in touch.

Written by

Maria is our Digital Lead.

She is curiously passionate about human behaviour, tech and data. So Whycatcher is truly home for her.

Maria can solve a rubix cube in 1min 12 seconds and has 63 houseplants (so probably needs to get out more).