Audio is a huge part of life for Americans. While AM/FM radio dominates the audio landscape with mass reach and significant time spent, podcasting is another area that is quickly and continuously experiencing significant adoption growth.
The just-released Westwood One 2020 Audioscape looks at podcast consumer trends using data from Edison’s “Share of Ear” Report from Q3 2019.
Here’s where podcasting stands today:
Podcast listeners are super fans of audio; podcast listeners’ #1 content audio source is podcasts
Podcast listeners love audio and they want more of it. According to Edison’s Q3 2019 “Share of Ear” study, the average American consumes nearly four hours of audio each day. Personal music, satellite radio, AM/FM radio, streaming, and podcasting are all considered part of the broader world of audio. Among podcast listeners, audio use is off the charts. Podcast consumers spend over 5 hours a day with audio, 36% more than the average.
Not only are podcast listeners super fans of audio, Edison finds that the number one source of audio among podcast listeners is podcasts! 28% of their audio time is with podcasts, followed by AM/FM radio (19%), streaming (15%), and owned music (14%). If they’re listening to podcasts, they are their top audio source.
Podcast listeners are heavy consumers of spoken word content, especially when it is personality-driven
Spoken word content is king among podcast listeners. Podcast listeners are nearly twice as likely to listen to news compared to total audio consumers. When it comes to personalities, 79% of podcast consumers listen from any source. That’s over three times more than total audio consumers.
Podcast share of time spent with talk and personality-driven podcast content continues to grow
Talk and personality content is one of the foundational pillars of podcasting. From Q3-Q4 of 2017, Edison’s “Share of Ear” has tracked talk content’s continued growth in podcasts. Among those 18+ who consume talk/personality content, time spent with podcasting is up +39% since two years ago. Millennials were up +12% in that same timeframe. The largest growth is seen among older demographics with persons 35-64 seeing a +73% increase in podcasts’ share of audio time spent among talk and personality listeners.
Podcast listeners are more likely to be smart speaker owners despite smart speaker owners spending little time listening to podcasts
As smart speaker ownership rises in America, podcast listeners are even more likely to partake in this trend. More than one-third of podcast listeners own a smart speaker, +33% more than the total U.S. smart speaker ownership level.
However, smart speaker owners spend little time with podcasts on a smart speaker device.
- Podcast listeners are super fans of audio; podcast listeners’ #1 content audio source is podcasts
- Podcast listeners are heavy consumers of spoken word content, especially when it is personality-driven
- Share of time spent with talk and personality-driven podcast content continues to grow
- Podcast listeners are more likely to be smart speaker owners despite smart speaker owners spending little time listening to podcasts
Lauren Vetrano is Director of Content Marketing at CUMULUS MEDIA | Westwood One.
Contact the Insights team at CorpMarketing@westwoodone.com.