All The Important Podcast Numbers from Edison/Triton’s Infinite Dial

Nick Quah, writing in Hot Pod 155, covers the Edison Research/Triton Digital Infinite Dial 2018. This is the longest-running and essentially industry-standard research on digital audio consumer behavior. I’ve pulled out and selected some key points. Quotes are Nick.

First up, key numbers straight from the report: Americans (age 12+) who listen to podcasts monthly are now 26% (73 million), up from 24% (67 million) prior year. “Between 2014 and 2018, monthly American podcast listenership has grown by a whopping 73%.” Zoinks!

For weekly podcast listeners, the average number of podcasts consumed per week is now seven, up from five the past two years.

While it’s improving, the conversion rate from those who have ever listened to a podcast to those who listen monthly is 60%. “When people sample and don’t habituate, it speaks to interest that isn’t being met by the content. There either isn’t enough variety of things for people to listen to — or there isn’t enough of what they like to meet their appetite.”

So despite the fact that it might seem like everybody you know has their own podcast now, there’s still plenty of opportunity for new entrants, formats, and concepts to provide the missing content for would-be monthly listeners to lose their would-be status.

In 2018, podcasts overtook satellite radio in the car, 23% to 21%. This is yuge! Considering that to play a podcast in most cars, you need to connect or pair your phone to your car’s audio system, possibly with a Bluetooth adapter or specialty cable, open your podcast-listening app, and select the show, as compared with pressing a button on many cars’ dashboards!

Despite a quarter of podcast listening taking place in the car, nearly half (49%) takes place in the home. Which is amazing considering that nearly 100% of mine is at the gym, walking the dog, or driving. n = 1. Speaking of home listening…

Smart speaker ownership doubled over the last year, and the writers of the report noted, “smart speaker adoption is growing at a faster rate than the early days of smartphones.”

Heady times.