More podcast listeners and more listening: Canadian Podcast Listener Report (Signal Hill)

Data is starting to emerge from the 2021 edition of the Canadian Podcast Listener Report produced by Signal Hill Insights with support from TPX. Signal Hill president Jeff Vidler has posted what he calls “early observations” from the 5th annual study which was fielded in October.

The main upshot so far is that Covid-wrought changes are holding steady. That means more Canadians are listening than pre-Covid, they are spending more time listening, and the pre-Covid shift to listening at home is continuing.

The following chart provides a year-over-year-over-year view:

“Could COVID have resulted in a permanent shift in location of listening? On average, the proportion of reported podcast listening at home jumped from 60 to 68% last year. That’s held steady at 68% this October, even as things are opening up post-pandemic,” Jeff Vidler speculates.

Below are data details around the idea of pre-Covid changes holding steady.

More Canadians are listening to podcasts as we come out of COVID

  • Continuing the incremental 5-year growth trend, monthly podcast listening is up by two points from October 2020.
  • Weekly podcast listening is up even more as more Canadians make podcast listening a regular habit, rising from 18 to 21% of Canadian adults.
  • Podcast listening in French Canada, long lagging behind that of English Canada, is up most sharply as more French-Canadian content becomes available, with weekly listening spiking from 12 to 18%.
  • Audience composition has largely held steady, with listening growing across all demos. Here’s the current profile of monthly podcast listeners: 47% are aged 18-34; 35% are 35-54 and 18% 55+. Meanwhile, by gender, 54% are men; and 46% are women

Podcast listeners are spending more time with podcasts

  • “Power Listeners,” who account for the lion’s share of all listening, are on the rise. In 2019, Power Listeners represented 26% of monthly podcast listeners, up to 28% in 2020, and now 31% of all monthly listeners.
  • Meanwhile, average time spent listening to podcasts by weekly listeners keeps growing, now up to an average of 6.5 hours a week.
  • Weekly listeners are also gobbling up more episodes a week, up an average of more than one episode a week since 2019.

A complete report of key findings will be released at the end of November.


Brad Hill