YouTube Dominates Digital Audio, Finds MARU/Matchbox


YouTube has emerged as a leading platform for digital audio consumption in the United States, according to the latest findings from Cumulus Media and Signal Hill Insights’ Podcast Download Fall 2023 Report. The MARU/Matchbox report surveyed 608 weekly podcast consumers and revealed that YouTube has surpassed other platforms, including Spotify and Apple, in popularity among podcast listeners.

This news comes after Google chose to sunset Google Podcasts and merge the app’s service into YouTube Music earlier this year. The platform is particularly popular with heavy podcast consumers and newcomers to the medium. With its expansive search capabilities, YouTube has become the go-to platform for podcast discovery, with one-third of weekly podcast listeners starting new podcasts there.

The rise of YouTube as a primary destination for podcasts is marked by an increase in the audience that exclusively watches video podcasts, now representing 14% of the weekly podcast audience, while veteran listeners tend to favor the traditional audio-only experience. Unsurprisingly, YouTube listeners are more diverse in their usage, with a significant number using laptops and TVs, in contrast to the predominantly smartphone-based audience of Apple and Spotify.

While YouTube enjoys a large audience, loyalty to the platform might be a future issue, with a significant portion of YouTube’s audience indicating they would follow a favorite show to Spotify or Apple Podcasts if it became platform-exclusive.

More data can be found in this week’s Cumulus Media/Westwood One Audio Active Group blog and during a webinar covering the results on December 7.



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