As the news of the past few weeks has shown, the pandemic is not yet over. But as podcasters contemplate returning to the road in the New Year, there is fresh data suggesting listeners are ready to buy tickets to live events and tapings. A MARU/Matchbox national survey commissioned by Cumulus Media finds over a third of weekly podcast listeners are interested in live events with podcasts. And among heavy podcast listeners – those that consume six or more hours of podcast content per week – interest levels are even higher.
Among all weekly podcast listeners, the survey finds 15% are “very” interested and another 22% are “somewhat” interested in attending a live event held by their favorite podcast during the coming six months. Among heavy podcast listeners, the data shows 21% are “very” interested and another 25% are “somewhat” interested in going to a live taping.
“Weekly podcast listeners are definitely interested in attending a live event within the next six months, and that jumps up to nearly half of the heavy podcast listeners,” said Brittany Faison, Insights Manager of the Cumulus Media Audio Active Group. “Podcast events are really a win-win for everyone – the podcast listeners get to go and see their favorite show, the hosts get to expand their appeal and they also get to expand another stream of revenue, and for brands, it’s a great marketing opportunity to get their name out there,” she said on a webinar last week.
The survey was conducted from Sept. 30 to Oct. 29, prior to the emergence of the omicron virus strain, so it is not clear whether the latest setbacks in fighting COVID will impact listeners’ interest in live events.
Podcasters appear to be taking a return to the live stage slowly. Seat Geek currently shows few live podcast tapings on its calendar for the first half of 2022. Yet some shows are already appearing before audiences. The All Things Comedy podcast The Dollop with Dave Anthony and Gareth Reynolds is among the shows that have been on the road in recent months, posting several live episode tapings. And The Jackie and Laurie Show, hosted by comedians Jackie Kashian and Laurie Kilmartin since 2015, has announced some live dates for early next year.
Download a copy of the Cumulus Media-Signal Hills Insights Fall 2021 Podcast Report HERE.