Podcast mobile app usage rose 60% since 2018 with a quarter of podcast users listening for the first time, according to a survey of over 1,000 US adults by Adobe Analytics, and data of 193 million unique visitors of mobile apps by Comscore.
The trend is expected to continue as 45% of listeners plan to tune into more podcasts in the future.
The survey spells good news for advertisers as 60% of consumers reported looking up products after hearing about them in an ad. Another 25% admitted to previously purchasing a product they heard about through a podcast. Fifty-eight percent said they were skipping through podcast ads.
Advertising appears to be an effective way to reach customers with a third of them finding the ads more engaging than other ad formats. Forty percent also found the format to be less intrusive than other ad types.
Discovery of podcasts is driven by online sources (41%) and friends (24%).
At the same time, 72% of listeners are convinced that quality has improved compared to just 6% who think quality decreased.
“We believe that in the early days of podcasts there was a lot of experimentation going on, and companies weren’t investing much in ensuring quality,” said Vivek Pandya, managing analyst at Adobe. “As the podcast space matures and more companies join the bandwagon, production quality has become more of a priority.”
Millennials make up the largest base of listeners. A third of millennials said they were listening to five or more podcasts per week. Meanwhile, 67% of Gen Z have plans to listen to more podcasts.
The majority of people are listening on their way home (52%) and in the car (42%).
According to Pandya, listeners enjoy podcasts because they’re a good way to “pass the way quickly” whilst commuting.
“Unlike radio, which is more of a live stream, podcasts are on-demand and let users bring audio programming with them wherever they go. And they can listen at whatever time works best for them,” Pandya added.
Among the top podcast genres are comedy & humour (46%), followed by educational podcasts (28%), history (27%) and documentary/true crime (26%).
But most users prefer shorter podcast under one hour in length.
Whilst 58% of audiobook listeners had listened to podcasts before listening to audiobooks, podcast listeners streamed more audiobooks than non-podcast listeners.