Infinite Dial

The number of Americans who listen to a podcast each month has crossed the 100 million mark. That’s according to the annual Infinite Dial study. The joint effort of Edison Research and Triton Digital showed that the growth in podcasting’s reach was driven by the 37% of Americans aged 12 and older who reported they had listened to a podcast in the prior month. That was a five-point gain from the prior year, and it brought the total number of monthly listeners to an estimated 104 million – or a 16% year-to-year increase. “It’s certainly a medium for advertisers and the public to take serious as it crests that 100 million point,” said Edison Senior VP Tom Webster.

Complaints that “podcasting” was too odd a term for people to grasp have faded in recent years and the latest Infinite Dial, the 23rd study in the series, is likely to put an end to talk that it be replaced with something more catchy or consumer-friendly. The data shows three-quarters of Americans are familiar with the term “podcasting” with a majority (55%) saying they’ve ever listened to a podcast. That twenty-point gap, however, amounts to a variance of 57 million people who know what a podcast is but have yet to give the medium a go. Still, Webster said on a webinar Thursday that a steady march toward awareness is something to be celebrated. “The term is absolutely getting into the zeitgeist of American society as more and more Americans have heard it bandied about, even if they haven’t actually listened to one,” he said.

Podcasting’s ranks of hardcore fans – what radio programmers often refer to as their P1s – also continues to expand. The data said a quarter (24%) of podcast listeners had consumed a show during the past week. That translates into about 68 million Americans. Webster did acknowledge however that the two-point year-to-year increase in weekly podcast listeners was only half as big as what was seen last year. “It’s not the jump we saw last from 2018 to 2019, but more on par with what it has been doing with a long series of 1% to 2% jumps year to year,” he said. “Certainly, the proliferation of daily podcasts has a little bit to do with that.”

The Infinite Dial study results are based on national telephone survey of 1,502 people aged 12 and older in January and February. The survey was conducted to both cell phone and landlines and was offered in both English and Spanish.

Download the full report HERE.