Research Shows Podcasts Are Consumed By 13 Million People Daily

Edison Research LogoEdison Research, a survey research company, recently published a report called “Why Podcasting Is Bigger Than You Think.” This report expands on the “Share of Ear” survey conducted earlier this year, where Edison reported that approximately 2% of all daily audio consumption is devoted to podcasts. And while on its face, that 2% value may seem insignificant, Edison explains:

In Edison’s recent edition of our Share of Ear study, we released a graph showing that nearly 2% of the total time spent listening to audio was devoted to podcast listening. There were some who may have seen that figure and thought it small. It is not small. Certainly, as a “share” of audio, you can compare it to the share of a popular television show and see straight away that we are talking about significant consumption. But we also have to look at the fact that podcasts are not consumed by 100% of Americans (even if they were, by the way, a 1.7% share of ear would still be remarkable). In fact, if we deduct the persons from this statistic who don’t listen to podcasts, we get a very notable figure indeed.

The report contains a chart and a short video that break down the research results. The highlights:

  • Americans consume approximately four hours a day of audio.
  • The daily reach of podcasting is about 5% of all Americans, or approximately 13 million people.
  • Looking at monthly (instead of daily) audio consumption, podcasts are consumed by about 15% of the American population, or 39 million people.
  • One in five weekly podcast users consume six or more podcasts a week.
  • Daily listeners of podcasts listen to podcasts almost as much as daily listeners of terrestrial radio listen to the radio. So, these daily podcast listeners are actually listening to podcasts more than any other audio source.
  • Daily podcast listeners consume 105 minutes more of audio per day than other listeners.

I know these numbers may still seem low to some, especially when compared to the overall reach of terrestrial radio. But the reason the study is called “Why Podcasting Is Bigger Than You Think” is to emphasize the fact that regular podcast listeners aren’t a typical subset of audio consumers. In fact, the report even notes that daily podcast listeners are often better educated and more economically empowered than the other groups covered in the survey.

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