Podcast listeners listening more: Acast/Nielsen study

Podcast listeners are doubling down: Over half of them spent more time listening over the past six months than previously — that metric courtesy of research conducted by Nielsen in partnership with global podcast company Acast. That 52% is favorable compared to the results for other audio categories: 36% report increased listening to online radio, 36% for AM.FM, and 33% for audiobooks.

The research was presented yesterday at Adweek in New York, and included a raft of key findings:

  • 70% of listeners say they enjoy listening to guest interviews
  • 58% of listeners say they enjoy listening to panel discussions
  • 55% of listeners say they enjoy listening to host banter
  • News, music and comedy content are most frequently consumed, with nearly two thirds (64%) of podcast listeners listening to news shows every week.
  • For episodes of an hour or longer, 62% of listeners say they listen to more than half — confirming that pre-roll and mid-roll ad placements are great ways to reach listeners.
  • More than half of listeners (57%) will listen to a podcast episode multiple times. (We at RAIN find this particularly interesting.)
  • Listeners are attentive when consuming podcasts — 65% are focused when listening to podcasts, more so than any other tested medium.
  • Podcast listeners are actively listening to ads to support their favorite podcasters — 57% agree that listening to ads is important to support their favorite podcast hosts.
  • Podcast listeners are five times more likely to like than dislike brand-sponsored content in podcasts.
  • Podcast listeners are almost four times more likely to like than dislike brand-owned podcasts.

“Podcasts are undoubtedly an increasingly important part of the lives of listeners in the US. We think of our favourite podcasters like our friends, and trust them to entertain and inform us just as much as we trust them to recommend brands and products we will enjoy,” said Nick Southwell-Keely, US Director of Sales and Brand Partnerships at Acast. “Changing consumer attitudes and interests have seen podcasting become an integral part of thousands of brands’ marketing strategies, and our research supports the increasingly valuable role podcasts can play.”


Brad Hill