Lunchtime Webinar Series — Podcasting: Connection and Community During Quarantine

Edison Research SVP Tom Webster presented the latest installment in our Lunchtime Webinar Series — Podcasting: Connection and Community During Quarantine on May 21, 2020.

Click here to download the presentation, Podcasting: Connection and Community During Quarantine 2020 Edison Research

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This presentation includes previously unreleased data from the Podcast Consumer Tracker, the only comprehensive, all-inclusive measure of podcast listening in the U.S. This data was collected continuously before and during the current COVID-19 crisis, and is the industry’s only look at how podcasting’s audience, not just their downloads, has been impacted by the pandemic.

Additionally, the recording below includes videos of interviews with podcast listeners from the last few weeks, as they share their experiences with listening to podcasts during quarantine, along with new data on podcast listeners from The Infinite Dial® 2020 from Edison Research and Triton Digital.

Key findings include:

  • 41% of  weekly podcasters have had their work reduced or eliminated
  • The employment and work patterns of those in the U.S. age 18-34 have been affected the most by COVID-19
  • While those who have had their jobs reduced/eliminated are listening more, those whose work from home hours have increased are spending less time with podcasts
  • Desktop/laptop listening has risen as a result of quarantine. AM/FM listening by podcast listeners is down
  • Usage of on-demand delivery/convenience services has risen among weekly listeners
  • While genre consumption has begun to return to pre-quarantine levels, News and various Home and Self Improvement topics have increased significantly

 

Podcasting: Connection and Community During Quarantine Save the Date

We are proud to announce the next installment in our Lunchtime Webinar Series,  Podcasting: Connection and Community During Quarantine, next Thursday, May 21 at 1pm EDT. Edison Research SVP Tom Webster will present previously unreleased data from the Podcast Consumer Tracker, the only comprehensive, all-inclusive measure of podcast listening in the U.S. This data was collected continuously before and during the current COVID-19 crisis, and is the industry’s only look at how podcasting’s audience, not just their downloads, has been impacted by the pandemic.

Additionally, the webinar will include interviews with podcast listeners we spoke to in the last few weeks, as they share their experiences with listening to podcasts during quarantine, along with new data on podcast listeners from The Infinite Dial® 2020 from Edison Research and Triton Digital.

A recording of the webinar will be made available online.

Click here to register for Podcasting: Connection and Community During Quarantine.

Buying The Top Five Podcast Networks Reaches 50% of Weekly Podcast Consumers

 

One of the reasons we started the Podcast Consumer Tracker here at Edison Research was to answer some of the most common questions media buyers and agencies have about buying podcast advertising. While in its early days podcasting was not considered a “reach” medium, today with the growing size of the leading podcast networks, efficient buys at scale are now increasingly possible.

We took a look at the cumulative data from Q4 of 2019 (we are just about to deliver Q1 2020 to clients) to get a sense of the unduplicated cumulative reach of the leading podcast networks. The top network in our tracking study currently reaches 22% of all weekly podcast consumers (which, according to the Infinite Dial 2020, is currently 24% of the population ages 12+.) When you add the second leading network into a hypothetical buy, and eliminate the duplicated listeners, leaving only the new, unique listeners of the second-leading network, a media buyer can then reach 31% of weekly podcast consumers.

Our research shows that 50% reach of weekly podcast consumers can be achieved through buying the top five podcast networks. Achieving that kind of reach 10 years ago would have meant buying thousands of individual podcasts, but as these reach numbers continue to change, buying podcasts at scale is more feasible than ever.

The Podcast Consumer Tracker is the only comprehensive measure of podcasting’s reach and audience. For more information on this study, please contact Tom Webster at twebster@edisonresearch.com.

Edison Research Releases Podcast Industry’s First All-Inclusive U.S. Top 10 Podcast Ranker

 

Edison Research is pleased to announce its first Top Ten Podcast ranker, new from the company’s subscription product, the Podcast Consumer Tracker (PCT). The ranker depicts the top ten podcasts in America by reach among weekly podcast consumers. The PCT is the only comprehensive and all-inclusive study of the reach of podcast networks and shows in America.

The top ten podcasts in America for the third and fourth quarters of 2019, as ranked by the percentage of weekly podcast consumers 18+ who have listened to them, is as follows:

  1. The Joe Rogan Experience
  2. This American Life
  3. The Daily
  4. My Favorite Murder
  5. Crime Junkie
  6. Stuff You Should Know
  7. Wait Wait…Don’t Tell Me!
  8. Serial
  9. Pod Save America
  10. Radiolab

Begun in Summer 2019, the PCT is now in its third quarter of fielding and is the only study that measures the entire podcast space continuously, compared to other download rankers which only measure participants/customers of those rankers, or users of a specific platform. As such, the PCT offers a holistic view of the reach and impact of all leading podcasts and podcast networks.

“This ranker looks deceptively simple,” notes Edison Research  Senior Vice President Tom Webster, “but it’s the product of hand-coding tens of thousands of podcasts from a sample of over 4,000 podcast listeners. Podcast listening is still fairly fragmented, and it wasn’t until we had this large a sample that we felt it would be responsible to even put out a top ten, let alone a longer list.”

The PCT is sampled continuously throughout each quarter to negate the effects of limited releases and new shows and is weighted to the industry standard measure of podcast listening, the Infinite Dial research series from Edison Research and Triton Digital.

“Attempting to distill the listening habits of thousands of podcast listeners is a formidable research challenge, not to be entered into lightly, and certainly not by fielding a small sample study over a handful of days,” said Webster. “Fortunately for us, we had the mechanisms and methodology in place from other large sample projects, like our Share of Ear® series, to do the task justice and finally provide podcast networks, agencies, and media buyers with numbers they can trust and that can be projected across the entire listening population.”

How The Study Was Conducted: The Podcast Consumer Tracker data is based upon 4,053 online interviews with weekly podcast consumers in the United States, ages 18 and older. Interviews were conducted in English and Spanish. Sampling was conducted continuously over the last two quarters of 2019, with Quarter Three interviews conducted July 7 through September 30, 2019 and Quarter Four interviews conducted October 1 through December 21, 2019. All respondents were instructed to enter the names of all podcasts they listened to the week before the interview into an online diary and were provided instructions to obtain that information from their podcast client/player of choice. All responses were unaided and hand-coded by Edison to determine actual show name, producer, genre, and other information. Data is weighted to nationally representative numbers for weekly podcast consumers from The Infinite Dial 2019, from Edison Research and Triton Digital.

The Podcast Consumer Tracker is Edison Research’s flagship podcast research study and is subscribed to by a host of producers and agencies including NPR, Wondery, WarnerMedia, ESPN, and many other leading players in the space. In addition to network reach statistics, the study also provides the only nationally representative look at the purchasing and consumption patterns of podcast listeners, content preferences, and advertising targeting information across a broad array of consumer goods and services.

Fielding is continuous and currently underway for the next quarterly report in the series, to be delivered in April 2020. More information is available at https://www.edisonresearch.com/the-podcast-consumer-quarterly-tracking-report/. 

Tom Webster on Podcasting’s Biggest Mistake

Edison Research Senior Vice President Tom Webster speaks often on podcasting and the trajectory of the medium, and his recent trip to Podcast Movement Evolutions inspired him to consider what could loom as Podcasting’s Biggest Mistake.

Yes, podcasting sprang from the loins of radio — so stipulated. But over the course of about 11 years, from 2004 to 2014, it became its own dog. There was no Big Podcasting. You might quibble about NPR/This American Life, but really, the audience sizes were nowhere near where they are today, so it’s hard to think of anyone in the first 11 years of podcasting as Big Podcasting.

Podcasting didn’t start in control of the monied few and gradually become democratized. Podcasting started as a democracy, and now faces the incursion of the monied few.

Click here to read the rest of  Tom Webster’s Podcasting’s Biggest Mistake on Medium.