Edison Research

In the closest thing that podcasters will have to regular ratings reports, Edison Research has announced it will begin producing a four times a year analysis of the marketplace. “We believe the time is right to provide a bespoke service to the growing podcast industry,” the company says in an announcement.

Using a sample of 2,000 adults, aged 18 and older, the Podcast Consumer Quarterly Tracking Report will show who is listening to podcasts on a monthly basis. Companies that subscribe to the data will also get 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. That list includes:

  • Age/Sex/Race
  • Children in household
  • Clients and platforms
  • Content preferences by topic
  • Subscription behaviors for streaming & podcasting services
  • Awareness, Trial, and Usage of leading podcast networks
  • Employment/Education/Household Income
  • Podcast listening
  • Locations of listening
  • Devices used for listening
  • Changing News podcast habits
  • Awareness and efficacy of various forms of podcast advertising
  • Direct donation/support of podcasts

Podcasters may be able to release some of the data they get. But Edison says a public “ranker” of podcast networks will not be released.

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.

Edison’s Podcast Consumer Quarterly Tracking Report gives it a jump on Nielsen, which has developed the technology to measure podcast listening but has yet to broadly roll it out into the marketplace. On a recent Nielsen podcast, an executive said it is unlikely to do so without full backing of the podcast industry.

“Nielsen clearly has a technology solution that could measure listeners. We’ve tested it, it works,” said Bruce Supovitz, SVP of national audio services. “But it means you have to have participation by all the various factions out there. If you don’t have that you really can’t present the entire picture. You can present a partial picture with what’s happening through this app or that app but not the entire environment. And thus, it’s really not a robust currency solution.”

Nielsen has instead turned to producing custom studies for advertisers who are looking for insights into how placing ads on podcasts helps strengthen a brand and boost sales. It’s also testing a way to allow an advertiser to measure the content around their commercial. That includes gauging the audience’s reaction to a host or show, as well as a listener’s likelihood to share an episode.