Podcast “Super Listeners” soak up 11.2 hours/week, via YouTube & Spotify more than Apple

Super Listeners 2021, a consumer research study by Edison Research with support from Houston-based Ad Results Media, was released in a webinar yesterday co-hosted by Edison SVP Tom Webster and Ad Results Media CEO Marshall Williams. Fascinating results ensued.

To set the stage, all respondents in this survey listen to podcasts at least five hours a week. that criterion is lowball, it turns out, as the average listening time is 11.2 hours a week. That number rose from 2020 (10.5 hours) and 2019 (9.8 hours).

Men slightly outbalance women in this cohort, 57% to 43%. Age demographics are nicely spread around, with the 18-24 group representing 15% of the whole, and the 55+ group at 14%. The 25-34 bracket is best represented at 27%. The survey field is overwhelmingly White at 72%.

How do they listen? The chart below illustrates the answers — YouTube is the winner of the “Do you ever listen…” question. This doesn’t necessarily mean that YouTube wins the distribution war, but it is the only named service “ever used” by most of the respondents.

Fifty percent of respondents agreed that “Advertising on a podcast is the best way for a brand to reach you.” This study is partly designed to gauge listener acceptance of, and enthusiasm for, podcast advertising. The respondents do hear a lot of it, more than they hear ads in other media categories:

Nearly a quarter (24%) of Super LIsteners agreed that they were more willing to consider products and services after learning about them on a podcast. That number did not drift much as respondents were asked about magazines, streaming radio, website, and radio. But frustration with ad load in non-podcast categories was expressed when respondents answered a question about “way too many advertisements” in different types of media. Podcasts scored at the bottom (fewer people objected to the ad load) — but the objections to podcast ad load have grown sharply over three years in this study, from 10% to 22%. Most people agreed that the podcast ad load has increased in shows they listen to:


Brad Hill