For the first time, more than half (51 percent) of the U.S. population has listened to a podcast, up from 44 percent last year. Put another way, 144 million people, or 20 million more people than just a year ago, have listened to a podcast.
Frequency is on the rise, too. An estimated 90 million, or nearly one-third (32 percent) listen monthly, up from 26 percent.
And 22 percent are weekly listeners, up from 17 percent. That’s an estimated 62 million weekly U.S. podcast listeners. The numbers come from Edison Research and Triton Digital’s latest Infinite Dial survey.
Who’s listening? Numbers are increasing among men and women, but men are more likely to be listeners with 36 percent of male respondents saying they listen to podcasts monthly, compared to 29 percent of women.
Podcasts are reaching roughly 40 percent of people age 12 to 24 and 25 to 54. While listening among those 55 and older is up from 13 percent last year, just 17 percent of this older demographic are monthly podcast listeners.
Weekly listeners said they heard an average of seven podcasts in the last week. More than half (52 percent) of them had listened to four or more podcasts that week.
Digital audio looks to podcast market. Spotify, which has made significant overtures in podcasting with the acquisitions of podcasting network Gimlet Media and back-end services company Anchor last month, is quickly gaining traction among younger audiences. Among monthly podcast listeners age 12-24, fifty-three percent were Spotify listeners, up from just 32 percent a year ago.
Why you should care. The marketing opportunities in podcasting continue to evolve from host-read ads and branded sponsored series. As companies like Spotify invest in growing their podcast businesses, the marketing opportunities — and measurement and attribution capabilities — will become more sophisticated. This is still early days for podcasting, but growing audiences and investment means it’s an area more brands will consider incorporating into their marketing strategies.