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Podcast Listening Continues To Grow, Even Among Radio’s Biggest Fans.

Two-thirds of radio’s core listeners now say they listen to podcasts. That is according to Techsurvey 2023, Jacobs Media’s annual survey which was conducted among people who have opted-in to radio station email databases and are therefore big fans of the broadcast medium. Among those surveyed, 18% said they listen to podcasts on a daily basis and 21% listen at least once a month. Jacobs says its weekly podcast listening numbers also reached a new high with 15% of these radio fans reporting they listen to at least one podcast each week.

The number that has listened either daily or weekly has been on a steady climb during the past several Techsurvey reports. While this year a third said they listened to podcasts that often, it is up three points from 2022 and up 44% from 2018 when 23% of core radio listeners said they listened to podcasts that frequently.

This year’s data shows once again that younger radio listeners are most podcast-friendly with 53% of Millennials and 47% of Gen Zs reporting they listen to podcasts either daily or weekly. That compares to 37% for Gen X and 25% for Baby Boomers.

“Podcasting is actually growing on the one hand, but enthusiasm for podcasting is leveling out,” said Jacobs Media President Fred Jacobs during a presentation about the findings.

The data shows three in ten (31%) of these big fans of radio say they are spending more time with podcasts. But that is actually fewer than the 34% who said that last year and the 41% who did in 2020 during the height of the pandemic.

“Younger people are more likely to be enthusiastic about podcasts,” Jacobs said. Techsurvey data shows 34% of Gen Zs, Millennials and Gen X radio listeners say they are spending more time listening to more podcasts compared to 32% for Gen X radio listeners and 28% for Boomers. It also shows women are slightly more likely to say that than men.

For podcasting to grow, it will need to continue attracting new consumers. Among this survey of core radio users, nearly four in ten said they never listen to on-demand audio. While that likely has something to do with their passion for what’s coming out of their radio speakers, and to a lesser extent age, Techsurvey results show the biggest hurdle may be with the content that podcasters are offering. Seven in ten said they are “just not interested” in podcasts while 23% said they don’t have the time.

While five percent of these radio listeners don’t know what a podcast is, technical issues also remain a factor for those that do. That’s because 17% said they don’t know how to listen to a podcast and 15% don’t know how to find podcasts. And 8% called it “a hassle.”

The 19th annual online survey includes responses from 30,000 radio users from the email databases and social media pages of more than 430 participating stations, who took part in Jacobs' online survey in January and February. Although not nationally representative – the sample skews older like the radio audience it reflects – the survey provides important directional trendlines on audio consumption and technology adoption. Download the full survey results HERE.

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