Video podcast consumers are cross-platform: Sounds Profitable/Signal Hill study

Sound You Can See; Podcasting’s Video Dilemma (HERE), a new study produced by Sounds Profitable and Signal Hill Insights, explores the duality of podcasting as an audio and video format.

The research survey was fielded in November, when nearly 1,200 adult podcast listeners were queried. All the survey subjects had consumed at least one video podcast in the past month. The purpose was to solve the study’s key question: “What even is a podcast — and do people know the difference?”

Unsurprisingly, YouTube is the top platform for consuming podcasts in video format; it is used by 71% of respondents. Spotify is the 2nd-most popular at 29%. TikTok, Facebook, and Instagram get fractional use.

Interesting to note, if not too surprising, people who consume video podcasts are also avid users of online video generally, and the study authors drilled down into other consumer media types to see correlations:

How does it correlate with listening to a podcast in audio? Eighty-six percent of respondents who watched a podcast recently have listened to one also.

A blending of the two consumption methods — audio and video — is revealed when survey subjects were asked whether they listen to the same podcasts via audio-only (not necessarily the same episodes) as they have watched in video. The answer is yes, to the tune of 60%. This result leads to a key revelation in this work:


“Video podcast consumers are also audio consumers, and should be regarded broadly as spoken word consumers.” Sound You Can See report


Three key points are related to that key finding:

  • The Video Podcast consumer is very much a spoken word consumer — in video and audio.
  • Video consumers also are not monolithic in their platform usage for podcasts — they don’t only use YouTube.
  • They are also most likely to have found podcasting within the last five years — likely through Spotify or YouTube.

The study has a great deal more granular information about usage habits and preferences. (For example When it comes to staging a video podcast, 70% of respondents like to see all participants together in a studio. Only seven percent like to see a static image plastered over an audio podcast.

The entire 81-page PDF is freely available HERE.

Brad Hill