In March 8’s Facebook Live webcast, Edison Research Senior Vice President Tom Webster discussed some of the podcast numbers from the latest Infinite Dial survey. In the end, he also presented three take-aways for podcasters seeking to increase their share of the voice audience. The first was to promote the content of podcasts, and not discuss the technology used to deliver them.
When asked where you listen to podcasts, 58% replied in the home, 58% said in the car, 14% listened at work, while 5% were listening elsewhere. Dividing it up by time, most respondents listened to podcasts at home — 54%. 33% were listening in the car, 11% at work and 2% elsewhere. Most people listen to podcasts during their morning commute, from 6 to 9 a.m.
What devices are used to listen to podcasts shows a sharp division by demographic. Overall, 62% listen on an AM/FM radio, while 26% use an Internet-delivered device. Among those 13–34, 46% listen on a smartphones or computer. In the 35–54 demographic, that number drops to 29% for digital delivery. Finally, in the 55+ group, it plummets to 11%, with 80% listening to an AM/FM radio.
Webster’s second take-away for podcasters is “push, not discovery.” Much of today’s promotion is about discovery, putting out a lot of hooks and waiting for listeners to come. That’s a pull strategy. Podcasting, according to Webster, has never been pushed. He says what it needs is something like the “Got Milk?” campaign, where the benefits of listening to podcasts are explained to a mass appeal public. The message should be, “You’ve already got the tools, here’s why you should do it.” He adds that many potential listeners may have been scared away back in 2006, because then the technology was more complicated than it is now. “It’s time for the podcast industry to explain itself to the general public in a way that it never has before,” said Webster.