Edison Research announced last spring that it would begin producing a four-times-a-year analysis of the podcast marketplace, taking the industry a step closer to having regular ratings reports. The company has now released its first Podcast Consumer Tracker to ten charter subscribers. It is also sharing some of the findings with the industry. While Edison didn’t make public any numbers, it did reveal its data showed The Joe Rogan Experience was the biggest podcast in terms of reach among weekly podcast consumers. And that indie podcaster may not be an anomaly. Edison says a majority (54%) of weekly podcast consumers reported they had listened to an unaffiliated, independent podcast in the last week. The company also says that its data shows “significant” content consumption differences between iPhone and Android podcast listeners which it concludes makes the "Top Podcast" charts derived exclusively from users of either operating system to be unrepresentative of total listening behavior.
Using a sample of 2,000 adults, aged 18 and older, the Podcast Consumer Quarterly Tracking Report gives companies that subscribe to the data information on what people are listening to, and the relative reach and awareness of the leading podcast networks. Edison says the quarterly report will also track demographics, content preferences, and listening behaviors for clients and platforms. In addition to network reach statistics, the study also offers data on purchasing and consumption patterns of podcast listeners, and advertising targeting information across a broad array of consumer goods and services.
"This is the first study in the podcast space to tackle a universal measure of reach," said Edison Senior VP Tom Webster in a statement. "There are, of course, various charts of downloads that cover parts of the overall universe, but those either reflect only a portion of the podcast audience, or they only measure publishers that opt-in. The Podcast Consumer Tracker's goal is a truly inclusive measure of the comparative penetration of the leading publishers and networks.”
Edison didn’t release the identity of all ten subscribers, but it did say NPR, PodcastOne, Wondery, ESPN, and WarnerMedia are among them. "Understanding our audience and the exploding audio landscape is so important to us as we create new podcasts,” said Anya Grundmann, Senior VP for Programming and Audience Development at NPR.
The study is based on a continuous sampling of consumers who have listened to a podcast in the last week. Edison says fielding is currently underway for the second quarterly report in the series, to be delivered in January 2020. Edison and Triton Digital will continue to provide basic podcast consumption data in their annual Infinite Dial studies. But Edison says its Podcast Consumer report will now be absorbed into this new quarterly tracking product.