Survey: Podcast listeners are young, affluent, and growing in numbers

GfK MRI conducted a study that explored the popularity and audience trends of podcasting. The Survey of the American Consumer determined that about 8.6% of U.S. adults, or about 21 million people, either downloaded or listened to a podcast in the past 30 days. That rate rose from 7% in last year’s survey.

(That monthly listening number is contradicted by The Podcast Consumer, an annual consumer survey from Edison Research and Triton Digital, which found that 24% of the 12+ U.S. population, estimated to be 67-million people, listened to a podcast in the previous month.)

The survey also highlighted several key demographics more common among podcast listeners. Fans of the audio format are more likely that the average U.S. adult to be a college graduate, to have a managerial or professional job, and to fall within the 18-34 age bracket. Podcast listeners also reported higher than average rates of using their phones for entertainment and in reading traditional news and media outlets.

The GfK survey also monitored developments in mobile device and social media usage. Among the coveted 18-35 age group, three-quarters said they had no landline. Even among the overall population, the rate of people living in cellphone-only homes rose from 29.4% in 2011 to 54.3% in 2017.

Anna Washenko