Weekly podcast listeners overwhelmingly prefer YouTube, and other new stats (Cumulus Media / Signal Hill Insights)

For the eleventh edition of the Podcast Download series, Cumulus Media and Signal Hill Insights retained MARU/Matchbox to conduct an in-depth study of 608 weekly podcast consumers from October 13-19, 2023. This work, combined with Triton Digital’s Podcast Metrics study, comprise this annual fall report.

YouTube is the star of this one. YouTube is characterized as “the world’s entertainment search engine,” and is revealed to be the dominant podcast discovery platform.

Podcast listening on YouTube is a sticky consumption method, which is to say that weekly podcast listeners like YouTube for many reasons. There is the visual aspect, naturally, and other survey responses indicate favorability toward YouTube comments, community the autoplay features, subscription management, and uniqueness of content. (See below.)

But another trend runs counter to the theme of YouTube loyalty: “More than half of YouTube podcast consumers listen to the same shows on other platforms,” the study asserts. (It is 56% of respondents who do that.) That presents an interesting view of multi-app podcast consumers driven by the convenience of the moment.

Another twist on the loyalty question: “If a podcast were to become exclusive on a platform outside of YouTube, 73% of the YouTube audience say they would use the new platform to listen to/watch the show.” A substantial majority for sure, but from the perspective of audience retention it also would mean 27% loss of listeners. That might convince all podcasts on YouTube to stay there, even in a multi-platform distribution strategy.

What kind of experience do YouTube podcast consumers really want — Audio only? Watching intently? A mix? Of those three, only the “Actively watches” category has grown in the past year:

When Cumulus drilled down to the most devoted group of podcast users — the weekly listeners — YouTube really shone. sixty-two percent of those listeners associate YouTube with consuming podcasts. The second-place contender? Spotify with only 13% reach. 

There is more to the report, and it’s free, HERE.

Brad Hill

One Comment

  1. Video part on youtube is huge for me personally, mainly ’cause you can “connect” more with host and guests when you see them,compared to just audio track on other platforms.

Comments are closed.