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Pew: Podcasts Grow, But Still in Radio’s Shadow

Podcasts make up 2% of all audio listening

One in a series this week delving into the recently released “State of the News Media” report.

Podcasting is certainly on the rise. According to Pew’s State of the News Media 2016 study, podcasting saw growth in both audience and programming in 2016.

Courtesy of Pew Research

However, despite the growth, the medium still pales in comparison to the traditional platform of AM/FM radio.

As of 2016, the study reports that 21 percent of Americans 12 or older have listened to a podcast in the past month, up from 12 percent in 2013. The percentage of those who have ever listened to a podcast jumped up to 36 percent

When it comes to the share podcasts earn of all audio listening, it is clear that podcasting still has a long way to go.

Only 2 percent of all audio listening is devoted to podcasts, per Pew. In comparison, 54 percent of audio listening is spent on AM/FM radio.

One potential factor limiting podcast’s reach is that less than half of the American population says it is familiar with podcasting. Since 2009, there has been just a 6 percentage point increase of people 12 and older familiar with the term podcasting, with that number resting at 49 percent as of 2015.

But it seems podcasting is trending in all the right directions elsewhere. The report shows that the number of hosted programs had increased by nearly 6,000 between 2014 and 2015, bringing the total to 28,000. The number of yearly downloads also crossed the 3 billion mark, with a reported 3.3 billion download requests in 2015.

Read the full report.


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