Share of Listening to Podcasting Hits All-Time High - Radio World

New data from Edison Research Share of Ear report reveals jump in U.S. listening levels

By Susan Ashworth ⋅
Published: October 21, 2020

For the first time in the last six years — since Edison Research study began tracking audio consumption as part of its Share of Ear measurement efforts — podcasting’s share of all audio listening has hit a new all-time high.

The findings were revealed at the Podcast Movement virtual conference in a keynote address by Edison Research Senior Vice President Tom Webster. The latest findings show that the share of time that Americans age 13 and older spend with podcasts as a percentage of all their audio listening has tripled to 6%, up from 2%, in 2014.

[Read: Listening Is Shifting Back to the Car]

“Podcasting has become the greatest companion medium,” Webster said. “Not only can you take it with you while you do other things, but we also see people turning to podcasts for a sense of community and connection during a very stressful time.”

The growth in podcast listening has been steady according to Edison’s research over the last six years. In the Share of Ear report released in Q3 of 2018, podcasts had risen one percentage point over the previous four years to 3%. That report revealed that large chunks of listening time were allocated to other channels like YouTube (11%), streaming audio (14%) and AM/FM radio (46%). In the two years since the 2018 report, listening levels for podcasts has risen another three points.

The Share of Ear Report looks at how the average American divides their listening time among the listening platforms — including AM/FM radio, streaming music, owned music, satellite radio and podcasts — and looks at where and through which devices consumers listen to audio.

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