Will Podcasting Eat Radio?
April 24, 2018
Last week Edison Research released its latest Podcast Consumer data. It’s a good piece of research that is the most quoted data about podcasting. With over ten years of data, it’s also a good tool to help watch trends.
As part of the data release, Edison Research published an updated Share Of Ear study, which shows the amount of audio that Americans put in their ears. Radio is 58% of all audio (AM/FM/SiriusXM); podcasting is just 4% of the total.
It’s tempting to assume from this 4% figure that podcasts are tiny. The research excitedly claims that podcast’s Share Of Ear has doubled in four years; but the cynic might dismiss this by saying that twice nothing is still nothing.
In most cases, however, radio listening is a habitual and automatic thing. Start up your car, and you start up your radio, too. The radio alarm clock wakes you up with the radio. It’s altogether too much hassle to spend time producing playlists for the office or shop, so radio typically wins there, too.
Podcasts are different: they’re deliberately chosen and requested. Given that they’re speech, rather than music, they typically have the full attention of the listener. They’re mostly enjoyed on headphones, rather than speakers. It’s very different listening behavior.
The Share Of Ear study is more revealing when it comes to podcast listeners. Of people who say they’ve listened to a podcast in the last 24 hours, podcasts account for a third of all audio. Broadcast radio (AM/FM/SiriusXM) accounts for less – just 30%.
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