New Study Suggests Podcast Listening Tilts Toward Larger Markets.


Weekly podcast listening is considerably more popular in progressively larger markets, according to a new national survey of 25- to 64-year-old adults conducted by Fohr Media Research (FMR) and Eastlan Ratings. Nearly one third of respondents (31%) in the top 30 markets say they listen to podcasts weekly compared to 17% usage in markets 101 and smaller.


“The ‘podcast gap’ is significant and the impact on Time Spent Listening for AM/FM radio is much greater in larger markets compared to markets 101 and smaller,” FMR Managing Partner Kent Phillips said in a press release. “The study may also indicate a podcast targeted toward a ‘large city’ audience could have greater chance of success with more potential audience in the top 30 markets.”


Looking at podcast consumption more broadly, the survey found that in the last six months weekly podcast listening has increased to 25% of the 25-64 U.S. adult population. Phillips says that number was less than 5% just five years ago. The data also found that 95% of survey participants who listen to podcasts also listen weekly to AM/FM radio. Podcast listening levels are about the same between men and women and 5% higher in the 25–44-year-old age group.


Fielded in March-April 2022, the survey set out to determine the listening levels of various forms of audio compared to six months ago and how listening may differ based on market size or geography. The companies say the statistically projectable national survey of 25- to 64-year-olds was demographically balanced and geographically representative. The samples comprised a 50/50 mix of men/women and younger/older 25- to 64-year-olds in radio markets ranked 1-30 (50%), 31-100 (25%) and 101+ (25%). Online surveys were conducted in all 50 states, plus Washington, DC and Puerto Rico.

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