The results are in: Podcast listening is on the rise!
By Dan Franks
In last week’s Infinite Dial 2016 live webinar, Edison Research and Triton Digital joined forces to present their most recent study of consumer behaviors around media and technology in America. They had a special focus on the consumption of audio, which included a dedicated section on podcasts.
Edison has been tracking podcast listening data for a decade, and this year’s numbers show that, in some demographics, that listening has doubled. Not doubled over the decade, doubled since 2013!
Their research shows that an estimated 57 million Americans 12 and older listen to at least one podcast each month, which represents a 4% increase from just a year ago. Edison says that increase represents some of the largest growth in the medium they’ve ever observed.
The study also showed that most podcast listeners average five episodes listened to per week, and over 20% listen to six or more. Other statistics of note were that while the gap between male and female podcast listeners is narrowing, males still make up nearly 60% of the overall market. Also, not surprisingly, podcasts are being consumed on mobile devices more than ever, as 64% of listening is being done on smartphones or tablets. This number is up from 55% just a year ago.
So what do all these numbers mean?
Clearly the results are welcome ones for people already in the podcast industry. They’re validation for some of us who have been hanging on as creators and industry professionals, hoping that one day we may stop having to answer the question “What is a podcast?” at family gatherings and dinner parties. It’s also exciting to see that the fastest-growing demographic of podcast listeners is ages 12-24. If large scale buy-in to the medium is going to happen, the “next generation” must lead the way.
I think the other thing that we’ll see, based on these results, is the traditional broadcast industry paying even more attention to what we’re doing. It’s no secret that podcasting is a buzzword among people in terrestrial radio, however many I’ve spoken to are interested in seeing if the recent growth in podcasts was nothing more than the so-called “Serial Bump.” The term “bubble” has been used liberally over the past 12-18 months. The fact, though, that these numbers did not remain flat or decline but instead show sustained growth, will be eye-opening to a lot of folks and potentially lead to some important decisions being made.
For a complete rundown of the podcast statistics, as well as the entire study, stay tuned to EdisonResearch.com.
Dan Franks is the co-founder and co-organizer of Podcast Movement, the world’s largest conference for podcasters and professionals in the podcast industry. When not organizing live podcaster events, Dan is a CPA and is the Business Manager at Midroll Media. Join himthis summer in Chicago for Podcast Movement 2016. Check out our latest podcast episode: Podcast Movement Sessions