Monthly Podcast Audience Grows 17.5% to 67 Million

“It’s time for advertisers and brands to see this as a mainstream channel.”

The “this” that Tom Webster, Vice President of Strategy and Marketing at Edison Research, was talking about is podcasting, as he co-presented the 2017 Infinite Dial report on online audio listening. That’s because the monthly audience for the medium jumped to 67 million people this year, up a sizeable 17.5% over the 2016 report.

The number of Americans who have ever listened to a podcast also made a significant leap, up to 112 million people, 40% of the population, making for a 14% increase over 2016. Importantly, they finish what they start, with 85% reporting that they listen to most or all of an entire podcast episode.

This was the first year that the survey asked the 2000 respondents if they listen to podcasts in the car. 19% said they do, trailing satellite radio by just 3%. That’s a great number, especially considering that satellite radio had nearly a decade head start on the smartphone, and that connecting mobile devices to the dashboard of many vehicles can still be a challenge.

47% of podcast listeners say they listen in a car or truck, with 18% saying that’s the location where they listen most often. This makes for a strong foundation for growth, as drivers upgrade to vehicles with smart dashboards and more robust smartphone integration, and continue their shift away from broadcast to on-demand audio.

The full Infinite Dial slide deck is available to download, and a more detailed report on “The Podcast Listener” is promised for April.

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