By Adam Fraser
I was proud to hit a podcast milestone this week as Episode 100 of my podcast “We’re Talking Social and Digital” with Jay Baer hit iTunes. Quite a journey all round, and I remain a passionate podcast listener as well as producer.
So I wasn’t surprised to see a leading industry report in the area of audio content trends, The Infinite Dial from Edison Research confirm that the growth in podcasting as a medium has continued in the past year.
Whilst the report is US centric (based on interviews with 2,000 Americans between Jan and Feb 2017), this is very often reflective (with a time lag) of consumer trends around the globe, and it is an extremely credible report which dates back as far as 1998.
The key trends from the report were:
- 81% of the population over the age of 12 now own a smart phone
- 58% have a subscription to a premium streaming TV service (Netflix, Hulu etc)
- 61% listened to online radio (radio online or streaming audio only available on the internet) in the last month
- The top 3 audio brands were Pandora, iHeartRadio and Spotify
- 81% of the population over the age of 12 are actively using social media
- The top 3 social media brands in terms of awareness are Facebook (95%), Twitter (90%) and Instagram (88%). Note Snapchat is growing rapidly hitting 82% this year v 71% last year
- Amongst 12-24 year olds Snapchat is the most popular social network
In terms of podcasting specifically:
- 60% were familiar with the term vs 55% a year ago
- 40% have listened to a podcast v 36% a year ago
- 24% had listened to a podcast in the last month v 21% a year ago
- 15% listen to a podcast weekly v 13% a year ago
- Weekly podcast listeners listen to an average of 5 podcasts per week
- 65% of podcast listeners use a mobile device (phone, tablet) to consume the audio
- 19% of car users have listened to a podcast while driving.
The report is packed with other interesting data insights and I recommend you have a browse.
The growth in podcasting reflects the on demand economy we know live in – consumers are putting together the precise audio content they desire, and listening on a device of their choice at a time that suits. It’s hard to argue this is not a superior product to scheduled, broadcast radio. With this product advantage tied to the potential upside from connected cars, I would expect podcasting’s growth to continue for some time.