Research from podcasting platform audioBoom echoes findings from an Adweek report that says today’s podcast listeners are predominantly white, urban and college-educated. The audioBoom study, conducted with YouGov, revealed that 76% of minority Americans listen to podcasts less than once a week, with 60% not listening at all. Only 1% of African-Americans report listening to a podcast daily.
Among the reasons for lower listenership amongst minorities—the listeners don’t know where to find podcasts, and they are unaware of podcasts with diverse topics that might appeal to them. To address these issues, audioBoom says the research points to a need to create more diverse content, identify and nurture minority podcast talent, leverage technology in order to bring more niche shows to the top of the charts and make podcasts more convenient for on-the-go listeners.
The study revealed that 46% believe that creating more content around topics that appeal to diverse audiences would help in increasing minority listenership. Also, 31% believe that finding undiscovered podcast talent would make them more listened to, while 34% think using technology to boost the ease of discovering diverse podcasts would help solve the issue. When looking at women specifically, 25% say they would only listen to a podcasts that can be listened to in full, and while on the go. Race doesn’t factor into this finding—25% of minority women and 25% of white women feel the same about podcast length.
“It’s no secret that podcasts are primarily consumed by white, middle/upper-class audiences,” audioBoom COO Stuart Last said. “At audioBoom, we are working to reach a more diverse audience by showcasing existing content that could be of interest to them, as well as developing new shows led by minority hosts. For instance, we’ve developed a show called ‘The 45th,’ a biweekly dissection of policy and spectacle of the Trump Administration from the unique perspective of three women, two of which are Muslim, including Rabia Chaudry [former public advocate of Serial’s Adnan Syed and host of ‘Undisclosed’], Sarah Basha and Susan Simpson. The key is developing grabbing content that taps into a variety of topics that appeal to wide audiences.”