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Published May 18, 2020
Published May 18, 2020
Kay via Unsplash

The audio sector is now split into two modes of delivery: traditional (AM/FM) radio, and digital formats like online radio and podcasting. While terrestrial radio reaches almost the entire US population, online radio and podcasting audiences have grown over the past decade. Two of the largest streaming services in terms of audience, Spotify and Pandora are both investing heavily in podcasts. The industry is growing fast—podcasts generated an estimated $479.1 million in revenue in 2018 and are expected to produce more than $1 billion by 2021, according to a new report from the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) and PwC.

  • As of 2019, 51% of Americans ages 12 or older have ever listened to a podcast, according to Edison Research and Triton Digital survey data, and 32% have listened to a podcast in the past month, up from 26% in 2018 and just 9% in 2008.
  • In 2018, 89% of Americans ages 12 or older listened to terrestrial radio in a given week, according to Nielsen Media Research data published by the Radio Advertising Bureau, a figure that has changed little since 2009.
  • 76.4 million people in the US listened to podcasts last year, accounting for 37.3% of digital audio listeners.
  • Radio’s audience, by comparison, is expected to reach 234.7 million US listeners this year, maintaining its 91.5% share of the adult population.
  • US ad spending on traditional radio will reach $13.90 billion this year, though growth is in decline.
  • Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) and PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) expect US podcast ad revenues will grow 110%, to $659 million, by 2020.
  • In May 2018, 32% of US marketers and agency professionals already advertise in podcasts, according to Advertiser Perceptions, an audio media company.
  • Westwood One survey conducted in January 2019 by CivicScience found that 7% of US internet users ages 13 and older claimed to be daily podcast listeners, and 8% listened weekly.
  • Nielsen’s recent Podcast Ad Effectiveness benchmarks show that 64% of listeners generally agree that ads are a good fit for podcast content.
  • The Edison Research / Triton Digital survey also found that 54% of podcast listeners were either somewhat or much more likely to consider a brand after hearing it advertised on a podcast.
  • According to Edison Research / Triton Digital, 43% of US podcast listeners use Spotify.

Read the full Pew Research Audio and Podcasting Fact Sheet.


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