I went to Wikipedia: Podcasting, first known as “audioblogging”, has its roots dating back to the 1980s. With the advent of broadband internet and portable digital audio playback devices such as the iPod, podcasting began to catch hold in late 2004.
Today there are more than 115,000 English-language podcasts available on the internet, and dozens of websites available for distribution at little or no cost to the producer or listener. I am not a regular listener when it comes to Podcasts. Partly due to an unfair bias I have about not wanting to give Apple credit for being the foundation of the term Podcast. Given the impressive statistics with regard to podcast listeners I am out of step with the way people behave. Those stats are eye opening.
An article last week on the Podcast upfronts (yes this was for real) ‘Podcasting will pull in $220 million in revenues this year, up 85 percent from the year before. That stat,courtesy of PriceWaterhouse Coopers, was read by Randall Rothenberg, president and CEO for the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB), this morning at the start of the IAB’s third annual Podcast Upfront.
Westwood One presented fresh research showing 5 percent of U.S. adults are heavy podcast listeners, 15 percent have listened in the last week, and 24 percent listened in the last month. Those heavy listeners tend to be young, male, and have an above-average income. They’re also heavy viewers of streaming platforms like Netflix, Amazon, and Hulu.
Podcasts fall into the category of content marketing. One of the things that makes them cool is the ability to track engagement in terms of downloads. The statistics are interesting. A recent Edison Research 2017 study of podcasts revealed that 50% of podcast listeners (estimated to be 42 million) listened to 3 or more HOURS of podcasts per week. Concerned that it’s only young people with time to spare? 33% of listeners are 35-54 and 44% are 18-34. 16% are 55 plus – which surprised me more than anything else. 77% download and then listen to the podcast immediately. Almost 2/3 of podcast listeners (64%) listen to 3 or more podcasts per week. This makes me wonder where and when they are listening and the data shows 51% ‘mostly’ listen at home.
Another really important statistic is that listeners hang around – 86% listen to all or most of the podcast. This is the reason that sponsorships of podcasts continue to gain traction. Below is the summary from Edison. Podcasting continues to rise, with Monthly listeners growing from 21% to 24% year over year.
♣ The audience for podcasts continues to be predominately 18- 54, and leans slightly male.
♣ The Podcast listener remains an affluent, educated consumer— and one that is becoming increasingly more likely to gravitate to ad-free or ad-light subscription experiences.
*The Podcast Consumer – Summary The Infinite Dial © 2017 Edison Research and Triton Digital THE INFINITE DIAL 2017 Survey Methodology.
♣ Clicking on a podcast to listen to it immediately (either streamed or via progressive download) is the dominant paradigm for listening, though 27% do subscribe to podcasts.
♣ Subscribers tend to have been podcast consumers for longer than non-subscribers, consume more podcasts, and are more likely to use their smartphone as their primary podcast player. . The Podcast Consumer – Summary The Infinite Dial © 2017 Edison Research and Triton Digital THE INFINITE DIAL 2017 Survey Methodology
♣ While Home continues to be the most often named location for podcast listening, the vehicle is a strong second.
♣ Most podcast consumers listen to most of the podcast episodes they download, and the vast majority listen to at least most of each episode. Podcasts are the number one audio source by time of consumption among podcast listeners.
♣ On the smartphone, podcasting’s Share of Ear® is tied with AM/FM content, and leads AM/FM among 13-34 year olds.
In sponsoring thoughtful and/or thought provoking content, the benefit include helping build overall brand value given the growth of podcasts, growing the commitment by the audience, and finding ways to leverage the ability to measure engagement. While it remains dependent on the product, podcasts should be considered to be a part of a smart marketing channel mix.
I’ve not always felt that way but the stats are too compelling to ignore.