Bridge Ratings was in Las Vegas at the Consumer Electronic Show this past week where the company conducted five focus groups with the intent of gauging a) podcast consumption patterns among current podcast listeners, and b) if new technology would reduce the friction that has limited podcasting as a reach medium.
Bridge Ratings President and CEO Dave Van Dyke says from what he learned, “2017 should be a breakthrough year for podcast consumption with a significant increase in the number of people who said that they would listen to a podcast weekly.”
Here is Bridge’s updated podcasting data after its most recent focus groups:
Van Dyke says for the first time since Bridge has been measuring podcasting consumption, the number of people in the sample that had “no interest in podcasting” has dipped below 50% of the population. “Those who have ever listened to a podcast will increase to 45% this year, and 35% will have listened to a podcast in the prior 30 days compared to 2016’s 20%.”
Technology like the Amazon Echo are presenting new ways to consume podcasts and is reducing some friction to ease of use. There is no need to sign up or register to listen to podcasts on this platform. Amazon has partnered with Internet radio provider TuneIn which includes over six million podcasts. If you have an Amazon Echo, all you need to say is “Alexa, play the program This American Life.”
Based on the Las Vegas focus groups and Bridge’s most recent field study, Van Dke concludes that 2017 holds great promise as a breakout year for podcasting. “This may be the year when a confluence of technology, advertising, and consumer interest boost momentum for the platform which offers content for just about every taste and interest. However, much of the growth we are projecting still rests on the shoulders of the content creators because ultimately a flood of more audio consumers to the podcasting platform will be short-lived if the presentation, production, and focus of the content cannot hold listener interest. And while our studies indicate that the more ‘professional-sounding’ the podcast the greater chance for additive subscription behavior increasing audience reach and interest. Broadcast radio and television will provide further interest in podcasting this year as talent from these platforms have the ability to widely promote their podcasts to built-in fan bases.”
Read the entire update from Bridge in their latest blog HERE.