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Is A Podcast Radio? To Some Age Groups, There’s Not All That Big A Difference.

One is on demand, the other moves without a pause, rewind or fast forward button. Nevertheless, many Americans think of podcast as “radio” even though it is a very different audio medium.

According to Ratings Prospects Study XIX (19) from NuVoodoo Media, nearly two in ten (18%) of Gen Z listeners say they think of podcasts as “radio.” Nearly the same number (17%) of Millennials do too. But it is not just young adults that see the lines of radio blurring. The survey found one in ten (11%) of Gen X respondents also think of podcasting as “radio.”

While bizarrely not everyone thought of AM/FM as “radio” – a quarter said it does not qualify in their book – a third of those surveyed said they consider satellite radio as “radio.” Generally, fewer than half (46%) said steaming services are “radio” although that varied by age group. A majority (52%) of Gen Zs said they view digital streaming providers or DSPs as “radio” while 49% of Millennials agreed.

NuVoodoo says among those it surveyed, 46% said they listen to podcasts each week. No age group was bigger on podcasts than Millennials with a majority (54%) of that demo saying they listen to podcasts each week. Among Gen Zs, 45% said they do, while 34% of Gen Xers listen to podcasts on a weekly basis.

Among those podcast listeners, most listen to more than one podcast. “It’s just 13% of weekly podcast listeners who say just one,” said NuVoodoo Executive VP of Research Analysis Leigh Jacobs. “Many people say it’s two or three, and a healthy number – 41% overall – say its four or more.”

Nearly half (49%) of those surveyed said they listen while driving. “Podcasts are finding their way into the car, especially where there is a connected car involved,” said Jacobs said on a webinar.

The data also showed that among people who drive a connected car, podcast listening goes up. NuVoodoo found that 38% of those with connected cars listen to podcasts at least 30 minutes each week versus 28% who drive a car with a traditional car radio in their dashboard.

The survey found that 69% of people said they have a smart speaker. That is roughly on par with what was reported last June (70%) and in January 2021 (67%). What is growing is usage. Nearly four in ten of those surveyed said they use their smart speaker to listen to a podcast for at least 30 minutes per week. That is up from three in ten who said that last June. NuVoodoo also saw a similar jump to listening to AM/FM radio via a smart speaker, with even more listening to digital streaming providers on the devices.

“For now, smart speakers have plateaued,” said Jacobs. “But the thing that hasn’t plateaued is using these things for what they are essentially, which is speakers.”

NuVoodoo’s Ratings Prospects Study XIX was fielded Jan. 4-5, interviewing 3,298 Americans aged 14 to 54 across all markets measured by Nielsen’s PPM service.

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