The podcasting industry is booming with no signs of slowing down. According to the Edison Research Infinite Dial 2022 annual report, over 62% of Americans have listened to a podcast at least once. That's a lot of potential listeners! The number is up from the 2021 report, which found that 57% of Americans had listened to a podcast. The numbers leave marketers who are thinking about using podcasting as a marketing tool asking the following question: who listens to podcasts?
To help everyone involved in podcasting or thinking about it, this article covers the progressive changes in podcasting demographics over recent years. It's important for podcasters and businesses thinking about using this medium to be up-to-date with the latest changes. Keep reading to find out more!
Why Statistics Matters
Whether you are a newbie or a veteran podcaster, knowing your audience is the key component. The more creators know who listens to their podcast, the better they can adjust the content and strategies to fit their needs. What's more, by understanding podcasting demographics, businesses can better assess whether this medium is a good match for their marketing efforts.
Before launching a podcast, getting to know the key trends offers an edge over the competition. Being up-to-date makes half the likelihood that a show will be successful.
Who Listens to Podcasts in 2022?
Returning to Edison Research's report, it's interesting to note that the 62% of respondents (over 177 million Americans) who have listened to a podcast are fairly evenly distributed across all age groups. The number of podcast listeners in the 18-34 age bracket is slightly higher than other groups, but not by much. However, those who think podcasts are only for young people are wrong. The number of podcast listeners aged 35 and older has increased significantly over the past few years. Young listeners age, and the number of adult podcast listeners grows accordingly.
That's advantageous for marketers treating podcasts as a customized yet portable marketing tool. It's no longer just a medium for young people, but one that can reach a wider audience.
Podcast Listening Locations
Interestingly, 32% of podcast fans aged 18 and older have listened to podcasts while driving. This marks a slight increase compared to the 30% registered last year. The number of people who listen to podcasts at home has also increased to 59%.
Many enjoy listening to podcasts while commuting or packing for their next trip. Overall, podcasts are a great way to make use of time that would otherwise be wasted.
Podcast Listeners by Gender
The Infinite Dial study shows an even split between men and women who listen to podcasts. As of May 2022, 53% of the podcast audience in the US was male, and 46% were female.
This even gender split is good news for businesses and podcasters alike. It means there is no need to produce different content for each gender. Instead, the focus can be on creating high-quality, engaging content that will appeal equally to male and female listeners.
Podcast Listeners by Ethnicity
It may be surprising how podcast listener diversity accurately matches the US population. Here's how the top five ethnicities line up for podcast listening:
- White 59%
- Hispanic 16%
- African American 16%
- Asian 3%
- Others 6%
There are several ossible explanations for this. Firstly, the podcast industry is still relatively new, so people who listen to podcasts are perhaps more likely to be early adopters. Secondly, podcasting is an extremely accessible medium. This accessibility means that people from all walks of life can enjoy podcasts, regardless of income or social status. All you need is a smartphone and an internet connection, and you're good to go.
Changes in Podcasting Demographics
However, over the past few years podcasting has exploded in popularity. Today it's not uncommon for people to listen to podcasts on their morning commute, while doing the dishes, or even at the gym.
Podcasting demographics have changed significantly since 2004. The medium is no longer the reserve of early adopters and tech-savvy millennials. Instead, it's a mainstream activity enjoyed by people of all ages, genders, and ethnicities.
The Secrets Behind Listener Behavior Unveiled
To determine who listens to podcasts the most, it's crucial to understand listener behavior.
First things first. What is listener behavior? Simply put, it's the way people interact with audio content. This can include everything from how often they listen to particular episodes to how likely they are to share the show with their friends.
Understanding listener behavior can help podcasters create icebreakers because it can give them insights into their audience's preferences. Moreover, a number of factors related to listener behavior influence how creators market their shows online.
#1 How often do listeners tune in?
This is perhaps the most important question when it comes to listener behavior. The answer determines how often podcasters should release new episodes and how they should promote each show.
Unfortunately, there is no straightforward answer to this. The reality is that people's listening habits vary widely, and there is no one-size-fits-all solution.
There are people who listen to podcasts religiously, tuning in as soon as a new episode is released. Others prefer to binge-listen, catching up on a show's back catalog in one go. Others dip in and out of podcasts, only listening to the episodes that interest them.
The best way to determine how often your listeners tune in is to ask them directly. This can be done through a survey or by simply sending out a tweet or email asking for feedback. Another way to get an idea of listening habits is to look at the data. Most podcast hosting service providers offer analytics with insights into how people interact with your show.
#2 What time of day do listeners tune in?
The time of day people listen to podcasts can have a lesser impact on listener behavior than frequency. After all, if you're releasing new episodes at midnight, you're not going to reach as many people as you would if you release them at midday.
Again, there is no definitive answer to this question. Conducting a survey or asking for quick feedback via social media platforms can help creators find the ideal episode upload time.
Who Listens to Podcasts the Most in 2022?
Advertisers are always keen to know who their target audience is. This article outlined a few key demographics that stand out when it comes to podcast listenership:
- Age: The majority of podcast listeners are between the ages of 18 and 34. However, 35+ year-olds are increasingly tuning in, with the number of listeners in this age group increasing at a regular pace.
- Gender: Men are slightly more likely to listen to podcasts than women, with 53% of male respondents saying they had listened to a podcast in the last month. Still, this number does not mean that podcasts are a male-only domain. Women make up 46% of the total podcast audience, and this number is constantly growing.Ethnicity: Respondents who describe themselves as white are more likely to listen to podcasts than other ethnic groups. However, the medium has content that caters to all tastes, with an ever-growing number of shows catering to specific niche audiences.