Study: Podcasts Strongest With 35+ Audience

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The majority of podcast consumers are aged 35 and older, a new report produced for the Internet Advertising Bureau (IAB) by Edison Research and Triton has found.


For advertisers and brand managers seeking to reach these consumers, sponsoring a podcast may be of benefit: Nearly half (47%) of all podcast consumers 12+ follow a company or brand on social media.

This compares to 28% of the U.S. population.

“The Podcast Consumer,” a report from The Infinite Deal, also finds that podcast awareness has now reached a majority of Americans.

Based on the study’s findings, which looked at individuals aged 12+, some 55% of the total population (an estimated 150 million people) are aware of the term “podcasting.”

That’s up from 22% a decade ago and 46% in 2013.

Additionally, an estimated 98 million people – some 36% of the population of persons 12+ have ever listened to a podcast.

That’s a rise from 11% of persons 12+ in 2006 and 27% of persons 12+ in 2013.

Breaking it out into age groups, the study found that the majority of podcast consumers are aged 35 and older. Of podcast consumers 12+, some 34% are aged 55+, while 38% are aged 35-54.

Teens are least likely to consume podcasts, with just 11% of podcast consumers falling between the ages of 12 and 17.

To no surprise, mobile devices are much more likely to be used for podcasts than a computer, with some 71% of podcast consumers 12+ using a smartphone, tablet or portable internet-enabled device.

For advertisers and brand managers seeking to reach affluent adult consumers, sponsoring a podcast may be of benefit: Nearly half (47%) of all podcast consumers 12+ follow a company or brand on social media. This compares to 28% of the U.S. population.

Edison and IAB then examined a subsample of those surveyed, taking into account the habits and preferences of 953 adults aged 18+ via an online interview.

Of this group of respondents, surveyed in August, some 70% “strongly agree that the products and services you learn about on podcasts are generally relevant to your interests.”

Additionally, some 65% of these respondents indicate that they are “more willing to consider products and services” after learning about them on podcasts.


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Adam R Jacobson is a veteran radio industry journalist and advertising industry analyst with general, multicultural and Hispanic market expertise. From 1996 to 2006 he served as an editor at Radio & Records.