New Research: Podcast Audience Is Educated, Affluent & Gender Balanced

New research further demonstrates that the podcast audience is educated, affluent, engaged, and–contrary to a common assumption–gender balanced.

According to survey data released Wednesday by Edison Research in a report titled “The Podcast Consumer 2015,” 50% of Americans aged 12+ who have listened to a podcast in the last week are women… and 50% are men. Edison’s data is based on a national random telephone survey–to both landlines and cell phones–of people aged 12 years and older.

Through our own listener surveys (with over 279,000 responses) Midroll has been collecting data demonstrating that podcast listeners are affluent and highly educated–much more so than the general population. Edison’s results also confirm this.

Their report says 35% of podcast listeners have household incomes over $75,000 a year–which matches Midroll’s data–compared to 25% of all Americans. A majority of the podcast audience (51%) has at least a four-year degree. Our own survey shows that a slightly higher percentage (58%) of Midroll podcast listeners have a Bachelor’s. For the over–18 population at large it’s just 17%.

Podcast listeners are also more engaged with the companies, brands and products that that they discover and like. Edison found that 58% of podcast listeners follow one on social media, a full 17 percentage points higher than Americans as a whole. They are also more active on social media: 60% use a social platform at least several times a day, vs. 40% of the general population. Filling in the picture a bit more, we know that 63% of Midroll listeners have bought a product or service they heard advertised on a podcast.

This audience is mobile, and podcasts reach them where other advertising doesn’t. According to Edison 64% listen to podcasts on mobile devices and 58% of podcast consumers have connected their smartphone to a car audio system to listen on the road.

In the webinar presenting this data, Edison Research VP of Strategy Tom Webster observed that advertisers–especially brands that spend heavily in radio like Geico and Progressive insurance–“need to know who listened.”

That’s something we at Midroll are acutely aware of, and also work to address with our listener surveys. Not only do we have a vivid picture of the overall podcast audience, our advertisers also have access to detailed demographic information for individual shows, including listeners’ age, income and buying habits.

As the podcast audience continues to grow–46 million Americans have listened in the last month–and the evidence is piling up that it’s a valuable one for advertisers, too.

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