What do rock radio and new technology have in common? Young males. And so it should come as little surprise that just-released results from the annual Infinite Dial study rock radio listeners are most likely to listen to podcasts. Edison Research says eight-in-ten alternative rock radio listeners and three-quarters of hard/rock heavy metal listeners have given podcasting a try. But it is age more than musical preference that matters. The data shows the older-skewing classic rock format has a lower rate of podcast consumption, with just 62% of that format’s listeners having ever listened to a podcast. It is also why the young-skewing hip-hop and top 40 formats are among those with the highest rates of podcast test-drives. But with more women listening to those formats, especially Top 40, the overall rate of podcast listening is lower. In the case of top 40 it is a 12% gap with alt-rock.
“Over half of the alternative rock listeners are weekly podcast listeners, with sports, top 40 and hip-hop right behind them,” said Laura Ivey, Director of Research at Edison. The Infinite Dial data shows alternative rock radio has the best conversion rate among any format. Of the 81% that reported they had ever listened to a podcast, 51% said they listened to a podcast in the past week.
Another male-heavy radio format — sports — had the second-best conversion rate. Edison said 69% of that format’s listeners said they’d listened to a podcast and among that group, 40% had done so in the past week. Hip-hop and top 40 listeners weren’t far behind, with 38% of each format’s listeners saying they had heard a podcast in the week leading up to the survey.
The survey also asked the radio listeners what types of podcast content they were listening to. The results showed that rock and hip-hop listeners were more likely to gravitate to music-related podcasts while country and R&B radio listeners embraced True Crime. Sports radio listeners stuck to sports on podcasts. And classic rock radio listeners’ interest in older music translated to an interest in History podcasts above all other.
“You might feel like True Crime is the No, 1 podcasting topic for every person in the universe because we hear so much about the genre,” said Ivey. “But you can see it only shows up for country, R&B and alternative rock.”
The Infinite Dial report is based on a national online survey that was conducted by Edison Research of 3,159 Americans aged 12 and older in January and February. The survey was conducted in both English and Spanish and all respondents in the report said they had listened to AM/FM radio in the prior week.