YouTube is the number one destination for podcast listening, according to new study by the University of Florida College of Journalism and Futuri Media.
The study was presented at the National Association of Broadcasters’ NAB Show in Las Vegas Tuesday as part of the “Radio’s New Analytics: Understanding Listeners, Delivering Results” panel discussion.
The study, which included a national survey and in-depth interviews, was conducted in February with 2,000 regular podcast users who listened to podcasts in the past six months, and 18 participants who gave in-depth interviews on their habits.
The survey allowed respondents to self-identify as podcast listeners and didn’t spell out a distinction between traditional podcasts and other types of on-demand audio. The results indicate that what consumers consider to be a podcast has evolved from the industry definition and explains some of the study’s findings.
Among those findings are that most podcast users are millennial males, listen weekly, and engage with podcasts at home. It also found that nearly three-quarters of users have been listening to podcasts for less than three years and, on average, listen to four podcasts per week for either 30 or 60 minutes. Users listen to podcasts on multiple platforms, but YouTube is far and away the dominant platform (70%), followed by Spotify (34%), iTunes/Apple Podcasts app (33%), Pandora (30%), and Google Play music app (23%).
Not surprisingly, nearly 80% of survey respondents listen to podcasts on their mobile devices. What is somewhat surprising is that the users listen to podcast most frequently at home (3.9 on a 5-point frequency scale), followed by in vehicles (2.8/5).
Politics and Government podcasts were cited as the most popular genre, with 15% listing it as their favorite. Music was next (11%) followed by interviews/conversations, comedy, sports and recreation and non-fiction storytelling, cited by 8 – 9% of respondents.
Listeners trust their podcast hosts highly, prefer host-read ads, and look for creative, informative, humorous, and integrated podcast experiences. They want to listen to hosts who are authentic, feel like a friend, and share the users’ passions and beliefs.
The study also found that among radio listeners who listen to podcasts regularly, 25-34 is the top age cell with both spoken word and music formats, with spoken word format attracting a more male audience (73% vs. 27% female), and music formats having a more even, but female-leaning split (51% female to 49% male). The top five favorite radio formats for regularly podcast listeners surveyed were Classic Rock (11%), Hip-Hop/Rap (10.9%), Country (10.4%), News/Talk (9.7%), and Alternative Rock (6.6%)
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