By Jamie McIver
Communication Evolution is Boston’s theme during PRSA’s 75th Anniversary, as we spend the year examining the manner in which communicators recognize and embrace change, from the tools, to the tenets, to the people. The way PR practitioners fundamentally do our jobs continues to morph and expand just as it is rooted in its beginnings.
Podcasts had been an underutilized marketing tool. According to Statista.com, “Back in 2006, only 22 percent of the adult population in the United States was aware of podcasting. By 2021, this figure had risen to 78 percent.
Clearly the tide has changed. According to The Verge, “The Interactive Advertising Bureau and PricewaterhouseCoopers released their annual joint report on the podcasting business, projecting that the industry will generate $2 billion in revenue this year and $4 billion by 2024.”
Josh Boroshok, APR, recently hosted Podcasting Meets Public Relations. Here are a few kernels of knowledge from his presentation for use when considering adding podcasting to your PR toolkit.
Who Listens to Podcasts?
The U.S. accounts for 46.9% of podcast listeners, followed by the United Kingdom and Canada. Podcast listeners are an educated group. Over 66% have a college degree (bachelor’s or higher), and an average annual household income of $75,000 and higher.
Whites comprise the majority of listeners. However, this is starting to shift along with the age and gender gap. There was more diversity in 2021 among Hispanic, Latino, and African American listeners, mirroring the diversity of U.S. population.
- 57% of U.S. podcast listeners are White
- 66% of podcast listeners are ages 12-34
- 13% are African American
- 16% are Hispanic, 4% are Asian
- 10% are other
Why People Listen to Podcasts?
- Three-quarters of people ages 12 - 34 listen to podcasts while doing other things for entertainment.
- Nearly 85% of listeners say their favorite podcast host feel like a friend.
- Podcasts are unscripted and feel more authentic.
When and Where People Listen to Podcasts?
- A 2019 (pre-COVID) study showed that over ¼ of podcast listeners consume podcast content while commuting to work.
- Most consumers stream content from their smartphones via an app like Apple or Spotify.
- Podcast durations aren’t pre-determined, but are generally between 10 and 60 minutes.
How Do People Find Podcasts?
- Directory searches such as Apple Podcasts
- Suggestions from favorite podcast hosts and guests
- Internet searches and social media suggestions