USA: Podcasts are increasingly popular among young people and women

USA: Podcasts are increasingly popular among young people and women

Podcasts are becoming increasingly popular with Americans, almost rivaling television, especially among young people. According to the Edison Research “Infinite Dial 2024″ report, half of 18-34 year-olds watch television on a weekly basis, while 48% listen to podcasts each week. And while men are still the primary listeners, women are closing the gap as this demographic shows a higher growth rate.

Rivaling television

According to the report, the weekly reach of podcasts stands at 48% among 18-34 year-olds. This is almost as high as that of television — live and time-shifted — at 50%, according to figures from Edison Research and Nielsen Comparable Metrics Q3 2023. Meanwhile, AM/FM radio remains firmly in the lead, with 77% of 18-34 year-olds listening every week.

Looking at the 18-49 age group, the reach of podcasts comes in at 46% according to Edison Research, behind TV (58%) and AM/FM radio (81%), according to Nielsen’s Comparable Metrics. “Podcast 18-49 weekly reach is 80% of linear TV,” the report notes.

Overall, the report shows a growth in podcast listening. Forty-seven percent of Americans over the age of 12, or 135 million Americans, have listened to a podcast in the month preceding the survey (a 12% increase over 2022) and 34% in the past week (+10%).

The growth in podcast awareness and listenership over the last eight years has been breathtaking,” says Edison Research. “The weekly podcast audience (34%) has more than doubled from 15% in 2017.

Surge in female podcast audiences

This increase may be linked to the surge in female podcast audiences, as the study points out. “From 2020 to 2023, female monthly podcast reach remained in the mid to upper 30% range. This year, female monthly podcast reach surged +15% from 39% in 2023 to 45% this year,” the research states. Women now listen to almost as many podcasts as men, 48% of whom listen every month.

Women also listen to more programs than men. Men listen to 7.2 podcasts a week, compared with 9.5 for women. On average, listeners follow 8.3 podcasts every week.

All in all, more than eight in ten Americans (84%), or 241 million people, are familiar with the term podcasting in 2024, compared to 60% in 2017. Two-thirds (67%), or 192 million, have ever listened to a podcast, according to Edison Research, up 68% on 2017. At the time, 40% of Americans had ever listened to a podcast.


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