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“Podcast Consumption Is Not Always a Solo Act”

Listening is being undercounted, Cumulus and Signal Hill find

Is podcast consumption being undercounted because people often listen together?

Cumulus Media and Signal Hill Insights say that’s exactly what’s happening. 

The two companies released data based on research by MARU/Matchbox into the habits of about 600 weekly podcast consumers.

“Podcast consumption is undercounted due to co-listening with friends, family and children; 14% of the weekly podcast audience say they ‘frequently’ listen with others,” the companies said in a summary.

Pierre Bouvard of Cumulus commented in an accompanying blog post: “Podcast selling estimates never contemplated ad exposures by multiple people to the same show. The podcast industry is leaving ‘ears on the table.’”

Other findings

“The co-listening profile varies by genre: Consumers who frequently co-listen make up a large proportion of the kids/family genre (31%) and rewatch podcasts (26%).”

They also found that half of heavy podcast consumers have a “side hustle,” which the companies say means that podcasts are a good ad platform for brands to reach entrepreneurs and those with several roles.

“Podcast ‘Pioneers’ and women like to listen to back episodes,” they also found. 

“YouTube is the most utilized podcast listening platform in the U.S. for the last year and half: 31% say it is the platform they use the most, followed by Spotify (21%) and Apple (12%).”

When it comes to discovery YouTube is the dominant podcast platform while TikTok leads social media for podcast discovery among 18–34 podcast consumers.

[Read Bouvard’s detailed summary of the research.]