Podcast listeners are young, avid, and growing their listening (Westwood One)

Westwood One has released the latest in its Audioscape series, posted by Brittany Faison to the Westwood One blog. The data are taken from Edison Research, and the focus of this release is squarely on podcasting. For years, Westwood One has been the most forthcoming distributor of metrics from Edison’s proprietary subscription product, Share of Ear, and that’s where this info comes from. Share of Ear studies how Americans divide their time spent listening to all kinds of audio. It is not about audience reach, but about time reach across the U.S. population.

Key points that Westwood One is making today focus on the growth of podcasting listening among its fans, and the primacy of podcasting within the broad study of time spent with audio across the spectrum.

  • Podcast listeners love audio and want more of it: Compared to the average U.S. consumer, podcast listeners spend an astonishing +41% more time with audio. ​


  • If you listen to podcasts, they are your number one audio platform: Among those that listen to podcasts, podcasting has the largest share of audio time spent (30%) followed by AM/FM radio (22%). Over the last five years, these ratios have held very consistently.

In the above metric, it’s tempting to note that podcasts get so much time-spent because the shows are so long. Slurp down one episode of Smartless, one of the most popular shows currently, and you’ve gobbled up an hour. But it’s just as easy to observe that podcast listeners spend so much time listening to podcasts not in spite of their length, but because they provide an immersive (one might say timeless) experience.

A few more points from Westwood One:

  • The median age of the podcast audience is 34, younger than other media: The current median age of podcast listeners is 13 years younger than AM/FM radio and two decades younger than broadcast television network audiences.
  • Podcast’s share of time spent with spoken word is surging: Edison reports podcast listeners are twice as likely to listen to news compared to total audio consumers and three times as likely to listen to personalities and sports.
  • Most podcast listening occurs at home throughout the day: 60% of all podcast time spent occurs at home, up from 58% in Q3 2018. 34% of all podcast time spent occurs 10AM-3PM followed by 6AM-10AM (22%) and 3PM-7PM (21%).

Go here for the complete Westwood One post.


Brad Hill