Podcasts continue to grow in popularity, with the number of US adults who listen to them increasing each year. And, while the majority of podcast listeners are white, listeners in the US span ethnicities and races to a greater extent than the general population, per a report [download page] from Nielsen.
Indeed, Nielsen’s data shows there is more diversity in podcast listenership than there is in the US population. Non-white adults represent about one-third (33%) of the US population, yet they make up 41% of the total monthly podcast listeners.
Broken down by ethnicity, Hispanic adults, who account for 16% of total adults in the US, account for 19% of adult podcast listeners. Likewise, Black adults make up 13% of total adult podcast listeners while representing 11% of the US population. And, although Asian American adults make up only 3% of all adults in the US, their representation among podcast listeners is higher (5%).
Growth in Audiences
The growth of diverse podcast audiences has been quick and steady across the board. Between 2010 and 2019, the number of Black adults who listened to or downloaded a podcast grew from 889K to 4.2 million. Asian adult audience numbers saw similar growth in the same time frame, jumping from 407K listeners to more than 2 million. So did respondents who self-identified as “other” — this option included other non-Hispanic, other Hispanic, American Indian/Alaskan Native and multicultural — growing from 334K listeners in 2010 to 1.8 million in 2019.
While listenership in these groups was an impressive 5 times higher in 2019 than in 2010, it’s the growth among Hispanics that stands out. Audience numbers for this group of Americans was six times higher in 2019 (6.8 million) than in 2010 (1.1 million).
The pandemic may also have had a positive impact on the number of Hispanic podcast listeners. Per previous data from Nielsen, Hispanic Americans report spending 18% more time listening to podcasts since the start of the pandemic and were 9% more likely than the total population to listen to podcasts daily during this time.
Data from PwC shows that not only did podcast advertising grow during the pandemic, but it’s also thought to be the fastest-growing advertising channel within the music, radio and podcast market in the US. And, it appears those advertising dollars are being put to good use.
First off, listening frequency is fairly high. About one-quarter (24%) of total podcast listeners listen to at least 10 podcasts per month, with more than half of those listening every day (15%). Additionally, 4 in 10 listeners enjoy at least 4 episodes per week.
The report also reveals that 62% of these heavy listeners have visited a website for more information about a product they heard advertised during a podcast. Additionally, 4 in 10 have visited a website to purchase or order a product advertised on a podcast.
Furthermore, compared to the total pool of podcast listeners, Hispanic and Black listeners are more likely to take actions as a result of hearing an ad in a podcast – such as visiting a retail location for more information, visiting a retail location to purchase a product, or calling a phone number in an ad.