Listen Up – 5 Trends in Podcasting

July 18, 2022

First, a history lesson.  

18 years ago, podcasting became a thing. Adam Curry, former MTV VJ, along with software developer Dave Wine, coded a program which enabled them to download internet radio broadcasts to their iPods so they could listen to content “on demand.” A then novel concept. 

 It took about a year for enterprise companies to recognize the opportunity this new form of communication presented. Fast forward to today, and over 25% of the US population are weekly podcast listeners (More Americans listen to podcasts than have Netflix accounts).  

Given this massive reach, and the often-streamlined barrier to entry for a solid podcast, here are five podcast trends to look out for as you evolve your content sharing strategies:  

 1. The audience profile has shifted. They skew younger, they’re more diverse, and are more likely to listen to escape reality. 

    OG Listener (6+ years listening) 
  • 63% are 34-54 years old 
  • 71% male, 29% female 
  • Top genres: Comedy, Sports, News and Politics, Science and Technology

     New Listener (<1 year listening)  

  • 66% are 18-34 years old 
  • 50% male, 50% female  
  • 35% more likely to be Black, 20% more likely to be Hispanic 
  • Top genres: Comedy, True Crime, Celebrity Conversation, Sports  
  1. Advertisers across the spectrum are in it to win it. Advertisers understand the value this market has to offer and are actively working to ensure they have a steady, dedicated spend as part of their overall marketing mix. Biggest spenders last year:  

  • Retail Direct to Consumer 
  • Arts/Entertainment and Media  
  • Financial Services 
  • B2B 
  • Consumer Packaged Goods 
  1. Audience targeting is sharper. And smarter. Contextual alignment is one of the most popular forms of targeting – and this channel allows for optimal use of it to reach the right people. Most targeted contextual audiences: 

  • Doctors & Research 
  • Businesses (of all sizes)  
  • New Parents 
  • Interested in Education  
  • IT Decision Makers  
  1. Podcasts are a creative ROI opportunity. Creativity provokes interest, engagement, and recall. All of this can lead to revenue. 

  • Ad revenue from podcasting is expected to double to $2 billion this year. 
  • 16% of podcast advertisers saw an increase in revenue from brand awareness campaigns YoY.  
  • 86% saw an increase in revenue from announcer-read ads YoY.  
  1. There is still a vast market of untapped listeners. If you think your niche audience doesn’t listen to podcasts, think again. Biggest audience opportunities: 

  • Graphic Designers 
  • Interested in Music, Live Events and Movies 
  • Engaged Couples 
  • In-Market for Insurance 
  • Education, College Grad  
  • Interested in Politics 
  • Small Business Owners 

It’s taken 18 years for podcasts to get the recognition they so deserve. From stand-up comedy to real estate investing, from true crime to foreign policy, there’s a podcast for every listener and a podcast for every marketer.