Yesterday, March 6, Edison Research released its 2019 Infinite Dial findings. Since 1998, Edison Research has published its annual Infinite Dial study, which covers consumer usage of media and technology. The study uses the gold standard of nationally representative survey research—a random probability telephone sample, comprising both mobile phones and landlines, of Americans ages 12 and older.
The study found that podcast awareness and listenership hit a milestone, with the majority of Americans saying they have listened to a podcast. This finding, along with an increase in audiobook listenership, indicates a surge in spoken word audio consumption. Audio consumption may be on the rise because of the ease of listening. Smartphone ownership has hit an 84% penetration level, meaning on average most Americans are walking around with a phone in their pocket, with access to hours of entertainment at their fingertips.
Each year overall awareness of podcasts continues to grow. In 2006, only 22% of the population was aware of the term “podcast”, and now 7 in 10 Americans have heard the term- “podcast.” Awareness is important but listenership is key. The findings show that 20 million more Americans are listening to podcasts than listened a year ago, putting total listeners at 144 million people. With over 660,000 podcasts on iTunes, as reported by Podcast Insights, listeners have literally thousands of podcast options.
The most impressive increase in listenership was found in audiences ages 12-25. While the 2018 report represented 30% listenership in this age category, we now find that 40% say they are listening to podcasts, showing a 33% boost for this segment. It valuable to see an increase in any age category, but the younger demographic in particular is meaningful considering they will carry these listening habits into their adult years which will prolong the growth trajectory of the industry.
The study found that the average U.S. listener consumes 7 podcasts per week. In regards to gender, the study shows that podcast listeners are pretty equally divided. On average, 36% of U.S men and 29% of U.S women consider themselves podcast listeners. The habit of listening to an average of 7 podcasts per week is beneficial in that it allows advertisers to create frequency when running campaigns. Frequency creates greater awareness of a product and leads to higher conversion rates.
Podcast listenership continues to grow because of the unique and personalized content created by both large audio production companies and independent audio creators alike. Podcast enthusiasts are able to find podcasts that entertain and educate. Listeners connect with the host as the host shares personal experiences, provides in-depth interviews, and valuable information. Often times podcasts listeners feel like they know the host because their voice is literally in their heads. This connection not only keeps the listener coming back for more but positions podcast hosts to deliver a high level of influence. This influence can be leveraged to create powerful podcast advertising campaigns.
True Native Media is a podcast advertising agency. If you are interested in leveraging the power of podcast listenership reach out to True Native Media for information about how we can help you create a successful podcast advertising campaign.