Sports fans are avid audio users … and big spenders. Advertisers take note. (SiriusXM)

SiriusXM has released a preview of The Sports Audio Report, produced in collaboration with GroupM and Edison Research. Its purpose is to measure the scale of sports listening, how it correlates with overall listening, and how that listening cohort behaves as consumers.

The headline outputs are that sports fans over-index for audio listening generally, and are avid consumers. “Sports fans spend six hours and 26 minutes with audio content each day—that’s over two hours more than the average American spends listening to audio,” the report states.

Audio does not beat video among sports fans, which seems natural. But the survey reveals preferences for audio in a few important ways:

  • Differentiated content: 66% of sports listeners say they listen to hear unique perspectives on sports that aren’t covered in other media, and 60% listen to get exclusive content.
  • Community and connection: 86% of sports listeners say they listen to stay connected to their team or sport, 58% to be part of a community of fans, and 56% to feel more connected to friends/family/colleagues.
  • Intel and competitive edge: 52% of sports listeners say they listen to be a more informed sports bettor, and 44% to be a more informed fantasy sports player.

This study is directed to advertisers, and at the heart of the matter for that target group is this:


“Compared to sports video viewers, sports audio listeners are bigger spenders. They spend an average of $262 on sports merch/memorabilia in a year (even higher for sports podcast listeners at $321), compared to just $185 for sports video viewers.” –The Sports Audio Report


Comparing sports audio consumers to sports video consumers, the survey found that audio listeners are bigger spenders, dishing out an average of $262 per year compared to $185 for video viewers. That comparative metric becomes more startling with sports podcast listeners, who spend an average of $321 per year.

The podcast tradition of personal endorsements carries over powerfully to sports advertising generally: “Endorsements and advertisements are a huge part of athletes careers and league business models, and for good reason—they are incredibly effective.” Again podcast listening demonstrates this point to the highest degree compared to other consumption types: 81% of sports podcast listeners say they like hearing or seeing their favorite athletes in commercials.


“Audio is a critical component of holistic media investments, and it needs to be a top consideration for brands looking to extend their reach and overall presence in sports.” –Jen Soch, Executive Director, Channel Solutions, GroupM US


The release of these study metrics is a preview; SiriusXM Media promises more results from this survey to come.

Brad Hill