Saturday, April 27, 2019

The Podcast Audience: What Four Recent Surveys Tell Us

To date there has been little reliable data on the characteristics of podcast listeners. Four recent podcast audience surveys (Edison, 2019; RAJAR, 2018; Westwood One, 2018; Chan-Olmsted, 2019) provide some insights as well as contradictory data on podcast listeners as a whole. At one level it makes little sense to conduct a survey of the overall audience as we can anticipate that audiences will vary from say crime podcasts to political podcasts to sports podcasts. Thus ideally more granular surveys would be conducted, however, they do provide some insights into the podcast audience.

All of the surveys reported a larger male audience. The RAJAR survey (sample size, 2,332) found the largest male audience, with 63% being male. There are contradictory findings on age but all found less podcast listening amongst over 55 age group. All surveys found significant growth in podcast listening.

Infinite Dial 

The Infinite Dial report 2019 from Edison research conducted a US national telephone survey of 1,500 people aged 12+, weighted for national population. They found more male listeners and the highest listening amongst 12 to 24 year olds.


RAJAR the official body in charge of measuring radio audiences in the UK, conducted a survey of 2,332 people in 2018. Their report found a strong male bias in podcast audiences.

They also found the largest listening category to be 35 to 54 year olds.

Westwood One

The Westwood One 2018 report based on a sample of 600 people also found a majority of male listeners but found higher growth in female listeners. Overall the study found growth in podcast listening particularly amongst heavy listeners.

University of Florida

A University of Florida 2019 report by the Department of Journalism and Communications with Futuri Media used a panel to survey 2,000 respondents. This survey found a much younger and more gender balanced audience profile than the other surveys. The survey also found that 50% of listeners had a college degree or post-graduate education.