Millennials and Gen Z are Reshaping Audio Loyalty Via Podcasts


As the US podcast audience continues to grow, new data is showing how diverse Millennial and Gen Z audiences are flocking to the medium. Edison Research is showing how athletes are leveraging podcasts, while Nielsen divulges how young Hispanics are tuned in.

The modern era of sports sees active athletes like Jason and Travis Kelce, LeBron James, and Draymond Green doubling as podcasters, enhancing their connection with fans and building substantial loyalty. According to the latest Sports Audio Report by Edison Research, SiriusXM, and GroupM, 76% of sports podcast listeners continue to support their favorite podcaster-athletes even after they switch teams, compared to just 51% of general sports fans.

The report also highlights the demographic shift in sports fandom, with a significant portion of US podcast listeners being Millennials and Gen Z. These younger listeners are notably more invested in the personal lives of athletes, with 52% of Gen Z sports fans following athletes’ off-field activities, in contrast to 26% of Boomer sports fans.

This knowledge mirrors information presented by Nielsen’s Tony Hereau and Cumulus Media’s Pierre Bouvard at Hispanic Radio Conference 2024. Nielsen data shows for Hispanics aged 25-54, podcasts accounted for 31.5% of ad-supported listening during the same period, a substantial increase from just 5.1% in 2017. Among those aged 18-34, podcasts have reached parity with AM/FM radio in terms of daily share of time spent with ad-supported audio.

In the first quarter of 2024, while 52.2% of Hispanic adults spent their listening time with AM/FM radio, a notable 25.8% engaged with podcasts, followed by 17.5% streaming audio, and 4.5% with SiriusXM.

The data suggests a shift in audio consumption habits, with podcasts emerging as a vibrant platform for advertisers targeting niche and multicultural markets, mirroring the broader national trend where, as Bouvard put it, “Podcasting is the new FM,” to traditional radio’s “AM band.”



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