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Survey: YouTube, Streaming Music Losing Listening Time To Podcasts.

There has been a lot of talk about podcasters producing video, especially as YouTube makes a play for the on-demand listener. But just-released survey data is putting the moves by the Google-owned video service into a different light, suggesting its focus on video podcasts is, at least in part, defensive in nature.

Critical Mass Media last month surveyed 500 podcast listeners between the ages of 12 and 54 and it found Americans are making more time for podcasts mostly by reducing time with streaming video/music and social media. In fact, half of those surveyed said they were spending less time with YouTube in order to spend more time with podcasts. That is twice as many as those who say they are shifting time away from broadcast radio for on-demand audio.

The Critical Mass Media survey finds that YouTube is not the only streaming media platform losing out to podcasters. Nearly as many people surveyed said they shift time away from streaming music in order to listen to podcasts.

Yet the survey also shows that it is not just audio and video mediums that are losing some time to podcasting. The survey shows a third of Instagram and Facebook users say they are taking time from Instagram and Facebook to listen to podcasts, while 38% say they are taking time from TikTok for podcast consumption.

“The top reason people listen to podcasts is to be entertained and to learn something new – this why we are seeing YouTube displacement of time, as a ton of DIY/how to videos and general entertainment value users derived from them,” said Hetal Patel, Executive VP of SmartAudio Insights & Analytics for iHeartMedia. “Also, time constraints in general in our lives makes a multi-tasking medium more favorable, favoring podcasts over YouTube.”

The media usage data comes from iHeartMedia’s new State of Podcasting 2023 report. It shows that daily podcast reach is accelerating across every age group, as the medium’s reach hit an all-time high in 2023. Edison Research data shows more than four in ten (43%) Americans aged 25 to 34 listen to podcasts on a daily basis, the most of any age group. But the numbers are rising across nearly every age group with roughly one-third of Persons 35 to 44 and 13 to 24 reporting they listen to a podcast each day. The only age group that had a small dip was among the working and parent segment most impacted by work and school returning to a post-COVID normalcy although Edison says 35 to 44 year olds still have the second-highest level of daily podcast consumption.

Helping grow those numbers are the changing listening habits of Blacks and Hispanics. Between 2020 and 2022, Edison says the monthly reach of podcasting among African Americans has jumped 26% with more than four in ten (43%) of Blacks listening to podcasts each month.

The jump is even bigger among Hispanics. Their podcast listening has risen by 36% with just over a third consuming podcasts each month. That blossoming reach means that there are now more weekly podcast listeners in the U.S. than subscribe to Netflix.

The report also includes some data that iHeart collected during a listener study last year. It shows the top three reasons someone listens to a podcast is to be entertained, discover something new, and to be “in the know.” Gen Z podcast listeners were 31% more likely to say they listen for companionship, while Millennials were 27% more likely to say they listen to be productive.

Download the full report HERE.

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