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TechSurvey 2020 Looks at Podcast Growth

Says more than one in four now listens to podcasts weekly

That podcasting is on the rise should come as a surprise to no one. But the Jacobs Media Tech Survey 2020 gives this trend some granularity. According to their research, more than one in four now listen to podcasts weekly, or more often.

Jacobs Media, Techsurvey 2020

That number is led by millennials with 43%, followed by Gen Z at 37% and Gen X with 28%. Overall, this group has grown steadily from 20% with TS2016 to 26% with TS2020.

Jacobs Media, Techsurvey 2020

The research goes on to say that this number is led by listeners to alternative and sports radio formats, with 41 and 38% respectively.

Jacobs Media, Techsurvey 2020

Listening to podcasts can be habit forming, even addicting, according to Jacobs research. They say that among those who to claim they listen to podcasts and on-demand audio more over the last year, millennials are in the lead with 48%, followed by Gen Z, 43% and Gen X with 42%.

Jacobs Media, Techsurvey 2020

The platform of choice for listening to podcasts is clearly smartphones, in the lead with 80% of respondents, according to Jacobs research. Trailing way behind, computers get 35%, in-car audio systems at 27%, tablets with 22% and smart speakers trail with 11%.

Jacobs Media, Techsurvey 2020

Despite all of these upwards trends, the research says there is still a whopping 44% who never listen to podcasts. Why is that? Jacobs research found several reasons. Among AM/FM radio listeners, the research says that 53% just aren’t interested. Thirty-two percent are more specific and say, “I’m not interested in listening to talk programs.” Nineteen percent don’t have time and 18% say that they just don’t know how to do it.

[Read: AM/FM Holds Fast in a Volatile Media Landscape]

Technical issues seemed to be the reason the research found for the 16% who said they didn’t know how to find podcasts, the 9% who said there’s not a podcast app on their phone and the remaining 7% who claimed it was a hassle. Perhaps the most surprising response the research uncovered is the 8% who said, “I don’t know what a podcast is.”