The Fight for Ears: New listening data highlights the pivot on podcast

Kellie Riordan, Deadset Studios

PodPoll 2023 gathered top level data on the recent pivot on podcast.

Research found that regular listeners are active and engaged, with 93% identifying as learners, seeking to learn new skills and habits through podcasts. On the other hand, 78% were activists who would take action after listening. In fact, 18% purchased a product after. 

Millennials and Gen Z over-index as regular podcast listeners, with monthly listenership the highest among 25-34 year olds. Gender-wise, a third of women aged 35-54 are regular listeners. 

Podcast listeners are avid fans and consume content as much as they can. 56% between 1-3 hours. 11% mentioned they consume around 5-10 hours per week. The shocking result found that 5% spent more than 10 hours a week. “We’re all focused on downloads, but engagement is important,” Kellie Riordan said, “what does your consumption rate look like?”

Since podcast is an opt-in activity, it must fulfill a specific need. The majority of audiences seek out entertainment, to relax, personal growth, enlightenment. Nearly 70% of adolescents listen to unwind while more than half of millennials listen to podcasts while driving. Podcasts also help listeners escape from their hectic lives, and this motivation was especially prominent during the covid-19 pandemic. 

When surveyed irregular podcast listeners, 27% of Australians cannot find content they are interested in. This represents a huge gap in the market to be filled. The majority of respondents (about 60%) are willing to sample new podcasts monthly. Co-listeners are more eager to try new content to find new content everyone likes. As an example, parents would like more co-listening experiences fit for both the adult parents and the children.

Genre-wise, there is no doubt crime and comedy take the high ranks. However, the study found that there is a demand for new and fresh content. For example, Gen Z females want more fashion and beauty content whereas middle aged men want more educational science content. A commonly untapped genre is food and beverage, which is high in demand for new homeowners.

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