AudioBoom and YouGov collaborated on research into the podcast market and questions of diversity. Although the podcast audience has been growing, listenership has largely stayed focused on upper/middle class men based on comScore data. According to the audioBoom survey results, 76% of minority Americans listen to podcasts less than once a week and 60% don’t listen to them at all. In the survey of American listeners, audioBoom suggested that discoverability is a big reason for the narrow audience podcasts currently have.
The first suggestion is the creation of more diverse content, which was a recommended action for 46% of minority Americans who think podcasts could become more mainstream to a diverse audience. That diversity could encompass not just demographics such as gender or race, but also subject matter and interests. Relatedly, 31% of that same respondent subset suggested that discovering new podcast talent would also help boost listener diversity.
The other suggestions focused on the tech side. Better distribution was cited by 34% of the minority respondents as a path that might help podcasts become more mainstream. Female respondents specifically requested easy on-the-go listening; 25% of white women and 25% of minority women gave that answer. Length of the podcast was also an issue for a quarter of female respondents.
“At audioBoom, we are working to reach a more diverse audience by showcasing existing content that could be of interest to them, as well as developing new shows led by minority hosts,” COO Stuart Last said. “The key is developing grabbing content that taps into a variety of topics that appeal to wide audiences.”