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Younger Than Radio But Older That Music Streams. Where Podcasts Fit In And Why It Matters.

Nearly half of podcast listeners – 47% -- are in the 12 to 34 age group. Another third are in the 35 to 54 group, with the remaining 20% aged 55 and older. That is according to Edison Research’s Infinite Dial report. But how does the age of podcast listeners stack up to broadcast and streaming radio? In a new cross-media comparison it says the median listener to AM/FM Radio is 46 years old -- 12 years older than the listener to streaming and podcasts.

Edison’s Share of Ear data shows podcasts have a median listener age of 34. But when it factors in the total time spent listening, the weighted median age of the podcast listener rises to 36.

Streaming audio has the youngest of all three media. That gap is especially apparently when the weighted time spent listening figures are used – streaming audio’s median listener age is 31, which is 20 years younger than AM/FM radio.

Here is why those numbers matter. While median age is a useful selling point for podcasters when approaching advertisers, there is also an impact on consumption. That is because Edison’s Infinite Dial data showed variations in the number of different podcast episodes people listened to each week based on their age.

Older listeners overwhelmingly listened to five or fewer episodes while young listeners – especially those in the 35 to 54 age group – carved out more of their time to listen to a greater number of podcasts. Edison says the 55 and older group listened to an average of five episodes per week compared to nine episodes for the 35 to 54 age group, and eight episodes for those between the ages of 12 and 34.

Despite the demographic changes in podcast listenership through the years, Edison’s Infinite Dial data shows little change in the role the youngest demos play. While 47% of monthly podcast listeners are in the 12-34 age group, it was nearly identical a decade ago when in 2012 Edison said that demo made up 48% of monthly podcast listeners.

The biggest change has happened at the other end of the dial so to speak. A decade ago 55 and older Americans made up 14% of monthly podcast listeners. Edison says in 2022 that age group now represents one in five monthly podcast listeners.

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