The podcast has clearly entered the media mainstream, and the range of its uses can only grow.
There’s just one problem, according to MediaPost. Unlike these other areas of digital radio, podcast listening has yet to take off, and there’s a real question as to when and if it ever will.
For now, though, MediaPost provides a look at what we do actually know about podcast listeners. (All data from Scarborough Research unless otherwise noted.)
According to Scarborough Research, just 25 percent of the population listened to a podcast in the past 30 days. While that’s a big increase over just a few years ago – Edison Research and Triton Digital put the number at 8 percent in 2008 – that still means three in four Americans do not listen to podcasts.
By contrast, 39 percent listen to their local stations online; 49 percent listen to internet feeds from iHeartRadio, Radio.com and others; and 69 percent listen to online music from Last.fm, Spotify and others.
- They are young Three-quarters of podcast devotees are under the age of 49, including 37 percent who are Millennials. This is important and explains why advertisers are so interested in this group of listeners despite its relatively small size. It’s become more and more difficult for advertisers to connect with young men through traditional media, so they’re desperate to find alternative ways to reach them. Podcasting offers just such a means.
- They are educated and employed Forty percent graduated from college, and podcast listeners are 69 percent more likely to be attending college right now than the average person. The majority hold a full-time blue- or white-collar job.
- They don’t have kids The majority, 62 percent, are childless, which reflects their relatively young skew. This is something else advertisers like about them – no kids often means more disposable income.
- They are affluent Twenty-eight percent of podcast listeners have household incomes above $100,000, with 4 percent above $250,000.
- They are active and healthy The majority describe their health as excellent or very good, and no wonder – they are more likely than the average adult to swim, bike, jog and play team sports such as basketball and soccer.