Nielsen reported last month that podcast listening during typical commuting hours is on the rise, reflecting a post-pandemic return to the office for many. But what those commuters are listening to may be surprising. It says commuters are significantly more likely to listen to Business podcasts, which rank as the ninth most popular genre among podcast listeners overall. And Nielsen says True Crime and Education are the second and third most likely genres for in transit podcast listeners to choose.
Once commuters get to the office, Nielsen says their listening selections change again as Leisure and Fiction category shows are far and away the two genres that working podcast listeners are most likely to choose compared to the average.
Nielsen’s annual Audio Today report finds the number of people who say they listen to podcasts between 6am and 10am grew three percent during the past year, while those listening between 3pm and 7pm increased four percent. Nielsen says 43% of podcast listeners tuned in during the typical weekday morning commuting hours while 45% listened during the hours more common for the drive home.
Among podcast listeners across the board, Comedy and News remain the top genres despite dips in their reach. Nielsen estimates Comedy had more than 28 million listeners during May while News had nearly 24 million based on Nielsen Scarborough Podcast Buying Power data. Business podcasts may be popular among commuters, but overall listening was down five percent year-to-year while Education grew four percent to more than 19 million listeners during May.
Overall, Nielsen says nearly one in ten podcast listeners consumes more than ten hours of podcasts per week. At the same time, the number of light listeners has gone down with a quarter (26%) of podcast listeners consuming less than one hour of content per week.