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Edison: Podcasts Are Now Top Platform For Consuming Spoken Word/Personality Audio.


When respondents complete 24-hour listening diaries for Edison Research Share of Ear studies, they categorize their audio consumption into four large buckets: Music, News, Sports (Sports Talk or Play-by-Play), and Personalities/Talk Shows.


The four categories form the basis of many of the ways the research firm analyzes the information. For example, it totals up the three non-music categories for its ongoing “Spoken Word Audio Report” with NPR, which will be released in two weeks.


In its latest Insights Newsletter, Edison zooms in on the Personalities/Talk Show category and reports an astonishing change in the way listeners access this content since it began Share of Ear in 2014. At that time, the share of time spent listening to “Personalities/Talk Shows” was: AM/FM Radio 74%, Podcasts 12%, All others 14%. The numbers in its most recent update for the second quarter of 2022 show a surprisingly different picture: AM/FM Radio 39%, Podcasts 41%, All others 20%.


“In a relatively brief period of time, listening to this category has been transformed, and for the first time more listening to Personalities/Talk Shows goes to Podcasts,” Edison says.


But how listening is divided among platforms is starkly different based on the age of the consumer. Among respondents aged 55+, 68% of listening to Personalities/Talk Shows takes place on AM/FM radio, 21% via Podcasts and 12% on Other platforms. Compare that to 13–34-year-olds where 60% occurs on Podcasts, 27% on Other platforms and 13% on AM/FM radio.


Keep in mind these numbers pertain only to Personality/Talk Audio and exclude News and Sports Talk/Play-By-Play, which are also part of the Spoken Word grouping.


More fresh data on the larger spoken word category will be presented by Lamar Johnson, VP of Sponsorship Marketing at National Public Media, and Megan Lazovick, VP at Edison Research Thursday, Oct. 27 at 2pm. The Spoken Word Audio Report explores specific types of spoken word content, various spoken-word platforms, and devices used to consume spoken word content. With young people in the U.S. listening to spoken word audio more than ever, this year’s study includes a special focus on Gen Z consumption. Registration information is available HERE.

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