As expected, this year’s Infinite Dial showed continued growth for podcasting. Most notable, according to Edison Research and Triton Digital, is that listening to podcasts became a majority behavior with 51% of respondents 12 and over. That would project out to about 144 million nationwide. That’s a big jump from last year’s 44%. Monthly podcast listening showed the largest gain in the history of the Infinite Dial, jumping from last year’s 26% to 32%, about 90 million listeners.
Infinite Dial’s demographics for podcast listening showed growth in all three age groups. 12–24 showed 33% growth, significant, according to Edison and Triton, because listenership for this group has historically lagged the 25–54 demographic.
Why did this happen? The data may not be able to pinpoint an exact cause, say Triton and Digital, but a strong association appears when examining 12–24-year olds who also use Spotify. Among that group, listenership was at 32% in 2018, but increased to 53% this year, a time when Spotify was doing a great deal to promote podcasting to a younger age group.
The dramatic growth in podcasting presented in this year’s Infinite Dial is underscored by the increases in categories when compared to last year. The report claims that an additional 17 million Americans ages 12+ are familiar with the term podcasting. An additional 20 million have ever listened to a podcast. 17 million more have listened to a podcast in the past month, while 14 million more listened in the last week.
When the weekly listeners were asked how many podcasts they listened to over the past seven days, the mean was seven. That’s the same as last year, up from five, which had remained unchanged for several years previously.
One of the key takeaways from this data on podcasts and audio books, according to Edison and Triton, is the apparent increased trend towards spoken word consumption.