New research from Parks Associates shows that 80-85 million US consumers ages 18 and older report they listen to a podcast for at least one hour each week. The research study reports smartphones are the most commonly used device for listening to podcasts and YouTube is the leading app/website used to access podcasts. Almost half of podcast listeners are 35-44 years old.
The report is the second research project in recent weeks to point to the industry’s need to put more effort to grow its reach into older demos. Parks Associates says its research found that podcast listening declined for listeners aged 45 and older, which it says indicates that content creators are overlooking this audience segment.
"Audiences self-select to listen to specific content, and the most popular means to discover new podcasts is through recommendations by friends and family," said Sarah Lee, a research analyst at Parks Associates. “Since people often find new titles by asking people with similar interests, content creators will need to make extra efforts to attract a more diverse audience.”
That dovetails with a report released by Edison Research earlier this month. It currently estimates 120 million Americans aged 12 and older listen to podcasts each month. But Edison President Larry Rosin says if Baby Boomer listening levels are brought up to what younger demos have, it would push podcasting’s monthly listener numbers to an estimated 152 million.
Lee says Park Associates data finds that more than six in ten podcast listeners pay for a podcast subscription service. “"There is reward in expanding your reach,” she said. Lee also said that their data shows consumers are also willing to pay for music services, with 15% report use of the Spotify Premium service.