Latino Podcast Listening Grows, But It’s Mostly Due To English-Language Content.
Half of U.S. Hispanics say they have listened to a podcast in English and a third have listened to one in Spanish as Edison Research reports podcast consumption among Latinos overall continues to climb. In the annual Latino Podcast Listener Report, Edison says 59% of Hispanics aged 18 and older have ever listened to a podcast. That is a three-point increase from a year ago. And during the past two years, Edison says the reach of the medium has grown 31% among Latinos.
“Latinos are listening to podcasts in both English and Spanish,” said Gabriel Soto, Edison’s Senior Director of Research. “There is a discrepancy between the two languages, though – the majority of Latinos have now listened to a podcast that was mostly in English. But Spanish podcast listening is flat, remaining at that one-third mark,” he said during a webinar Tuesday.
The small dip in monthly podcast listening that Edison found among all podcast listeners in its annual Infinite Dial report released in March ripples into the Hispanic report. The researcher says the number of Latinos that say they listened to a podcast in the past month slid back to 34%, a two-point decline from a year ago. A similarly sized decrease was reported among the overall U.S. population.
Soto thinks it is a post-pandemic adjustment. “It doesn’t appear to be a complete downturn. It’s probably more of a normalization after an unprecedented and wacky 2021,” he said. Soto also noted that 27% of Latinos said they listened to a podcast in the past week.
Edison’s long-term analysis shows a growth story among Latinos despite the small step back during the past year. When compared to 2020, the Edison numbers still show sizeable gains as the number of Hispanics who said they listened to a podcast during the past month rose from one in four in 2020 to one in three in 2022. And the audience is significant in terms of its raw numbers. Edison estimates 15 million Latino adults listen to podcasts on a monthly basis.
“This is absolutely an opportunity for the podcasting industry because this shows Latinos have discovered listening to podcasts and they stuck to listening,” said Elsie Escobar, She Podcasts cofounder and Community Manager at Libsyn. But she said the data also reveals they are not finding Spanish-language content that interests them. “There has been an expansion of Latinos listening to more podcasts and the scope of the more podcasts they have are primarily in English. It’s not that they are actively choosing this,” she said. “If the Spanish content was there and it was easily found, they would probably listen to that podcast as well.”
The data indicates Hispanics born in the U.S. remain more likely to have listened to a podcast in the past month than those who immigrated to the country. Three in four were born in the U.S.
The Latino Podcast Listener Report also offers some insight into who is listening beyond their general ethnic background. Edison says the gender gap closed significantly among Hispanics during the past year. Today, 47% of Hispanic listeners are women versus 53% men. But the age breakdown remained fairly stable. Nearly half (47%) are in the 18- to 34-year-old group, while four in ten (42%) are aged 35 to 54, with 11% of Hispanic podcast listeners aged 55 and older.
Two-thirds of listening occurs at home, while at-work podcast listening remains small at 12%. But that’s a 50% increase from two years ago. “I can see a little bit of shift and they’re now taking the podcast into work – that percentage is something to pay attention to,” Escobar said.
A majority (54%) of those surveyed said they began listening to podcasts based on subject matter they are interested in, while 15% credited either a radio personality or other celebrity for turning them onto the medium. Edison says 87% of those surveyed said they were either “very” or “somewhat” interested in local news podcasts that offered the Latino perspective.
Advertising remains a language disconnect as English-language ads are often served in the middle of Spanish-language programming. But podcast listeners are not especially choosy with a majority (53%) saying they are fine with ads in both languages compared to 21% who want them entirely in Spanish. And even among those Latinos born outside the U.S., the survey says just 11% say English ads “bother” them.
The Latino Podcast Listener Report is based on 2,500 online interviews from U.S. Hispanics aged 18 and older conducted during June. The survey was offered in both English and Spanish.
Download the compete Latino Podcast Listener Report 2022 in English HERE.
The report is also available in Spanish HERE.