Last Thursday, New York City hosted the fourth annual Interactive Advertising Bureau’s Podcast Upfront, an event where advertisers, media companies, and content creators gathered to create new marketing partnerships.
Ahead of the event, we released Westwood One’s Podcast Download – Fall 2018 Report and accompanying infographic exclusively for download on WestwoodOnePodcasts.com. Working with MARU/Matchbox and Vision Critical, nationally recognized leader in consumer research, the second installment of the study focused on the habitual or “heavy” podcast listener.
Here’s what we found:
Heavy podcast listening has grown significantly since last year. Heavy podcast listeners spend six or more hours per week listening to podcasts. Since the first release of the report in July 2017, the number of heavy podcast listeners increased 19%. Up from 36% last year, heavy listeners who consume six or more hours per week now account for nearly half of all weekly podcast listeners.
Female podcast growth surpasses men across many measures. Females are listening more than ever before. Growth in weekly time spent listening among women is six times the growth among men compared to last year. Women are consuming more podcasts. In just one year, the number of podcasts downloaded among weekly female listeners was up +25% as well as the number of podcasts listened to, up +27% from 2017.
Heavy female podcast listeners are young, upscale, and married. Demographically, heavy female podcast listeners are a younger group with healthy incomes. Most are married and 72% of them have children, a key insight when considering the +29% growth in listening to family-oriented podcasts over the last year.
Comedy and pop culture content resonates most with female podcast listeners. For women, comedy and pop culture are podcast magnets. 52% of weekly female podcast listeners regularly listen to comedy podcasts. Half connect with the entertainment world through pop culture content. Other content types that round out the top five preferences for weekly female podcast listeners include news and current events, storytelling dramas, and music.
Women and boomers are driving growth for smart speaker use among podcast listeners. Voice activated technology is a magnet for heavy podcast listeners with growth in adoption surging +13% from 39% in 2017 to 44% in the latest survey. Women and Boomers are strong proponents of voice-AI technologies. Podcast content needs to be at the fingertips and available on smart speakers for heavy consumers. They’re early adopters leading the charge in advancing usage.
Advertisers are paying attention to podcasting more than ever before and with good reason. As podcasting becomes more popular, brands are seeing the medium as an effective and powerful way to connect with millions of media consumers.
- Heavy podcast listening has made significant growth since last year.
- Female podcast growth has surpassed men across many measures.
- Heavy female podcast listeners are young, upscale, and married.
- Comedy and pop culture content resonates most with female podcast listeners.
- Boomers and women are driving growth for smart speaker use among podcast listeners.
Lauren Vetrano is Director of Content Marketing at CUMULUS MEDIA | Westwood One.
Contact the Insights team at CorpMarketing@westwoodone.com.