Podcast and Broadcast Radio – Listeners in Common

Author: Annette Malave, SVP/Insights, RAB

The growth in audio usage across all platforms and devices has been incredible. One segment of that growth has captured a lot of attention – podcasts. Podcast listeners have been considered a niche audience. Do they differ from broadcast listeners, and what are their views about broadcast radio?

Whether it is podcast or broadcast, these two groups of listeners are not exclusive to each platform but in fact have very similar views and perspectives. Seventy-two percent of adults who have listened to a podcast in the past month have listened to AM/FM radio. Of those adults who listened to a podcast in the past month, 62% listen to radio.

Like their broadcast counterparts, podcast listeners are influenced by the ads they hear on podcasts. Thirty-nine percent will visit an advertiser’s site or search for more information, and 37% would consider purchasing the product. When it comes to radio, 42% of podcast listeners believe that radio keeps them informed and up to date, while 32% believe that radio is a good source of learning.

The point of this is to highlight the value that audio offers – to listeners, consumers, shoppers and the advertisers who are trying to reach them. Audio, whether it is broadcast or its prerecorded cousin, podcasts, not only informs but also serves as an emotional role for the listener.

Radio relaxes podcast listeners (42%) and 43% believe it puts them in a good mood. Radio listeners have similar emotional views of radio – relaxing them (48%) and putting them in a good mood.

These audio listeners are also connected with the hosts that entertain them – 72% of podcast listeners feel close to the podcast hosts or narrators. Of those adults who visited a radio station, program or personality’s site, 85% of them are radio listeners. Also, podcasts listeners are 57% more likely than the U.S. population to do the same.

When it comes to time spent listening, there are differences. Adults 18+ tune into broadcast radio 11.8 hours every week based on Nielsen’s June RADAR. However, only 30% of podcast-listening adults 18+ listen for to podcasts for three hours or less weekly.

Audio usage is on the rise and whether it is podcast or broadcast, listeners are engaged – connected both emotionally and intellectually. Each provides content, information, entertainment in a positive environment. Advertisers can benefit by using both to reach current and potential consumers of their products and services. Podcast listeners appreciate broadcast radio’s attributes and benefits and, more importantly, tune in to AM/FM radio. Whether it is podcast or broadcast, the listeners are all ears. That’s probably why they have so much in common.

Sources: MRI-Simmons: 2021 August Podcast Study and 2020 Doublebase; Nielsen RADAR 149, June 2021


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