Who Listens to Podcasts and Why Do They Listen?
According to Statista, 120 million people listened to a podcast in 2021. In 2020, 55% of consumers in the U.S. above the age of 12 years listened to audio podcast, up 4% from 2019 (Statista 2019). If that figure surprises you, the U.S. actually does not lead the world in podcast listening (Winn, 2020). That distinction belongs to South Korea, followed by Spain, Sweden, Australia, and the United States.
The number one reason given by respondents for listening to non-musical podcasts was “to learn new things,” with 74% citing this as the reason for enjoying podcasts. Other reasons for podcast listening on a regular basis were for entertainment, to relax, or to be inspired (“Main reasons for using podcasts in the U.S. 2019,” 2019). Mobile applications on portable electronic devices such as smartphones and tablets are used by 65% of podcast listeners (Edison Research, n.d.). In addition, 32% of Americans listen to podcasts on a monthly basis, with 82.4% spending more than seven hours each week tuning in to podcases (Discover the Best Podcasts | Discover Pods | Find your next favorite podcast, n.d.) . An amazing 90% listen to podcasts at home, while others listen while driving or on walks. Most people (7 out of 10) listen without doing anything else and the rest multitask, doing housework, driving, or cooking while listening. Weekly podcast listeners subscribe to an average of six podcasts and listen to seven shows each week (Edison Research, 2019). The age of monthly podcast listeners versus US population (Infinite Dial, 2020):
- 12-34: 48% (vs 37%)
- 35-54: 32% (vs 40%)
- 55+: 20% (vs 23%)
More information about podcasters, why, and how they listen is available in this 2019 Podcast Stats & Facts Infographic from Podcastinsights.com: