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 an area that has been experiencing significant adoption growth.
The just-released Westwood One 2021 Audioscape looks at podcast consumer trends using data from Edison’s Q3 2020 “Share of Ear” Report.
Here are five things advertisers should know about the podcast audience:
1. Podcast listeners love audio and want more of it
Podcast listeners are audiophiles. On a typical day, they spend over five hours listening to any type of audio. The average U.S. consumer spends three hours and forty-two minutes a day with all forms of audio. Podcast listeners spend an astonishing +41% more time with audio.
2. If you listen to podcasts, they are your number one audio platform
Among those that listen to podcasts, podcasting has the largest share of audio time spent (30%) followed by AM/FM radio (22%). Over the last five years, these ratios have held very consistent.
In 2015, among podcast listeners, podcasts had a 29% share and AM/FM radio had a 20% share. Once people become regular podcast consumers, nearly one-third of their total daily time spent with audio is devoted to podcasts.
3. The median age of the podcast audience is 34, younger than other media
Podcasting is an ideal medium for advertisers seeking an engaged and younger audience. Since Q3 2018, the median age of podcast listeners has continuously hovered in the mid-30s. The current median age of podcast listeners is 13 years younger than AM/FM radio and two decades younger than broadcast television network audiences.
4. Podcast’s share of spoken word time spent is surging
Edison Research’s “Share of Ear” study covers time spent with four audio content types: music, sports, news, and talk/personality. Edison reports podcast listeners are twice as likely to listen to news compared to total audio consumers and three times as likely when it comes to personalities and sports. It is not surprising to see podcasting’s share of time spent soaring over time among those who use spoken word formats such as talk/personality, news, and sports.
From Q3 2018 to Q3 2020, podcasting’s share of talk/personality time spent has experienced strong growth across major buying demos. Among persons 18-34, podcasting has the largest share of talk/personality time spent (63%). The biggest growth is seen among persons 35-64 with a +45% increase in podcasting’s share of talk/personality audio time spent.
Looking at ad-supported platforms, podcasting’s share of talk/personality time spent leads the persons 18-34 demographic (71%) and ties AM/FM radio among persons 35-54 (42%).
Podcasting has the number one share of audio time spent for sports content among persons 18-34 (46%).
Podcasting’s share of news audio time spent among persons 18-34 (42%) is very close to AM/FM radio (44%).
5. Most podcast listening occurs at home throughout the day
60% of all podcast time spent occurs at home, up from 58% in Q3 2018. Midday is the number one time period for podcast listening. 34% of all podcast time spent occurs 10AM-3PM followed by 6AM-10AM (22%) and 3PM-7PM (21%).
- Podcast listeners love audio and want more of it
- If you listen to podcasts, they are your number one audio platform
- The median age of the podcast audience is 34, younger than other media
- Podcasting’s share of spoken word time spent is surging
- Most podcast listening occurs at home throughout the day
Brittany Faison is the Insights Manager at CUMULUS MEDIA | Westwood One.
Contact the Insights team at CorpMarketing@westwoodone.com.