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April 3, 2024, 11:04 a.m.
Audience & Social
LINK:  ➚   |   Posted by: Sarah Scire   |   April 3, 2024

The news out of the podcast industry hasn’t been very cheerful for a little while now. There’s been layoffs and advertising shortfalls. Podcast publishers “refocusing” and “restructuring.” A popular metric, number of downloads, sank for even the biggest shows after Apple tweaked how it calculated the figure.

A new report, however, finds good news for podcasts in underlying media habits. According to the annual Infinite Dial survey released last week, more Americans are listening to podcasts — and listening to them regularly — than ever.

Edison Research surveyed 1,086 U.S. teens and adults for the report. The results showed 67% of people in the U.S. (12 and older) have ever listened to a podcast, 47% listened in the last month, and 34% listened in the last week.

Pierre Bouvard, chief insights officer of Cumulus Media, argued podcasts are no longer “a niche platform lacking scale” in a blog post for marketers. (Cumulus Media is listed as providing support for the report, along with audio peers Audacy and SiriusXM.) “Podcasting deserves a larger role in media plans as opposed to ‘test and learn’ experimental buys,” Bouvard writes.

The percentages are even higher when you look at younger Americans. The report found 59% of those under 35 — and 55% of those under 54 — listen to podcasts at least once per month.

The gap in podcast listening between men and women has narrowed. This year, 45% of women and 48% of men reported listening to a podcast in the past month. (The 2023 report found 7% more men listening weekly than women.) Women who listen to podcasts weekly listen, on average, to two more episodes per week than their male counterparts.

The survey also found that smart speaker ownership may have peaked. Slightly fewer (34%) reported owning a smart speaker than the year before, though nearly half of those who do own smart speakers said they own three or more of them.

You can read the full report here.

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