Podcasts represent an important opportunity for brands and media to connect with Black audiences in a meaningful way. That is one of the findings in Horowitz Research’s new report on media consumption habits of African Americans. It finds three in 10 Black consumers surveyed say they consume podcasts daily or almost daily compared to two in 10 White consumers. Six in 10 Black podcast consumers say they have specific podcasts that they follow regularly, and for four in 10, the medium has replaced other kinds of content they would have been consuming before.
As a result of that rapidly-growing consumption, Horowitz says podcasts are becoming an increasingly relevant channel for advertisers, with almost two in 10 Black consumers saying that podcasts are one of the most effective mediums to reach them. That is especially true for male and 35-49-year-old Black consumers, which the data shows are even more likely to say that podcast advertising is effective.
“Podcasting is a rapidly evolving medium with lots of opportunities to connect with targeted audiences in spaces and places other advertising doesn’t reach,” notes Adriana Waterston, Executive VP and Insights & Strategy Lead for Horowitz Research. “Given that podcasts provide a platform for culturally specific voices and perspectives that aren’t always heard in mainstream media, it is no surprise that Black and other diverse audiences are gravitating there. It makes sense for advertisers to go there, too.”
The rise of Black podcast listening has been in part driven by a growing amount of content produced for the audience segment, such as by iHeartMedia’s Black Effect Podcast Network, the Alive Podcast Network, and TheGrio Black Podcast Network. Horowitz says nearly half (45%) of Black podcast consumers report they listen to Black content on a regular basis. That has an eight point lead on the No. 2 genre, Comedy, and an 11% advantage over the third-biggest genre among this demo, Sports.
Horowitz Research says Black podcast consumers are also more likely than their white, non-Latinx counterparts to keep up with podcasts that focus on social justice, racial justice, women’s rights, and LGBTQIA+ content. But the firm also says the findings from the study show that there is room to grow this space, with more than half of Black podcast consumers saying they wish there were more Black-hosted podcasts.
Horowitz’s Focus Black: State of Media, Entertainment, and Tech: Consumer Engagement 2023 report is based on a survey conducted in August 2023 among 555 Black adults 18+. Data have been weighted to ensure results are representative of the overall U.S. Black population.