Podcasting reaches for 100M weekly listeners: Infinite Dial 2024 (Edison Research)

The 2024 edition of Edison Research’s The Infinite Dial was unveiled today at Podcast Movement Evolutions, presented by Edison Vice President Megan Lazovick. Infinite Dial is the preeminent documentation of American listening to all types of audio. Begun in 1998, it is the longest running survey of digital media consumption behavior in America.

The topline trend metric for 2024 is this: “Podcast listening is UP.” One reason Edison emphasizes this point is that download counts are not necessarily synced with listening metrics. “Don’t confuse downloads counts for listening,” Edison admonishes, “podcast listening grew strongly in the last year.”

Below, Edison’s charting of monthly podcast listening reveals a gratifying recuperation from the dip of 2022 and partial recovery in 2023.

The 47% above (for monthly listening) becomes 67% when the question is whether respondents had ever listened to a podcast.

Among the monthly listening cohort, age skews younger: the large 12-54 cohort dramatically out-listens the 55+ group:

While listening rises, familiarity with podcasting as a media type is nearly the same year-over-year: 83% of Americans knew the word in the 2023 edition; it is 84% now.

Edison Research takes particular interest in three observations about podcast listening for the 2024 Infinite Dial. They are:

  1. Don’t confuse download counts for listening — podcast listening grew strongly in the last year.
  2. Podcast listening grew fastest among women, nearly eliminating the gap in listening vs. men — this platform is so much more than chat shows for guys.
  3. Just under 100 million Americans age 12 and older now listen to podcasts every week — a milestone that the podcasting industry should promote aggressively.

All of this adds up to a landmark statistic. Well, an almost-landmark — close enough for Edison to give it some splash:

There is much more to the podcast portion of The Infinite Dial 2024. The slides will be publicly available on the Edison Research website shortly after this posting.

Brad Hill