Podcast Research · February 16, 2022

Super Listeners 2021 from Edison Research and Ad Results Media

By Edison Research


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Podcast “Super Listeners,” Americans 18+ who listen to five or more hours of podcasts weekly, are engaged more than ever with podcast ads according to the latest Super Listeners Study. Edison Research, the global authority in audio research, and Ad Results Media, an audio industry leader in branded personality-driven advertising, released the results of the third Super Listeners Study. Highlights from the latest research include: 

Super Listeners continue the trend of spending more time each week with podcasts. 

  • Super Listeners spend an average of 11.2 hours listening to podcasts weekly. This is up from 10.5 hours last year and 9.8 hours the year before. 

Measures for Super Listeners’ engagement with podcast ads are up or stable since last survey. 

  • 51% of podcast Super Listeners agree that they pay more attention to ads on podcasts than on other media, up from 48% last year. 
  • 53% of podcast Super Listeners agree that their opinion of a company is more positive when it is on a podcast they regularly listen to, up from 49% last year. 
  • 50% of podcast Super Listeners agree that advertising on a podcast is the best way for a brand to reach them, up from 49% last year. 
  • Over half (56%) of Super Listeners said that hearing an ad on a podcast (compared to other places) makes them more likely to purchase a product, up from 54% last year.  

Super Listeners are continuing to notice an increase in the number of commercials and length of ad breaks in podcasts.  

  • 59% of Super Listeners say the total number of ads in the podcast they regularly listen to has increased, up from 56% last year. 
  • 43% of Super Listeners say the length of the average ad break in the podcast they regularly listen to has increased, up from 41% last year. 
  • 22% of Super Listeners said that there are “way too many” advertisements on podcasts relative to other types of media, up from 18% last year 
  • This year’s study saw an increase in the number of Super Listeners who believe it is important or very important to limit their exposure to advertising, up to 59% to 50% from last year. 

According to Tom Webster, SVP at Edison Research, “It’s clear that podcasting’s most active consumers are both difficult to reach through traditional means of advertising, and also extremely receptive to the right message, in the right context, in their favorite podcasts. The podcast industry has an incredible opportunity to be a trusted means of access to an extremely valuable subset of consumers.” 

Super Listeners often consume podcasts that include video. 

  • Over half (55%) of Super Listeners currently ever listen to podcasts through YouTube, and 20% listen to podcasts through YouTube most often, second only to Spotify (23%). 
  • Nineteen percent of Super Listeners say they discover podcasts most often through YouTube, ahead of recommendations from friends and family (17%) and searching the internet (13%). 

“It seems that for the next generation of audio listener, podcasting has shown to be the medium of choice for spoken word content.  Not only are people discovering podcasting at scale and through a number of various channels, the ‘super listener’ is choosing podcasting as one of their primary sources for content.  Couple that with the level of trust and response that podcast advertising yields and you have the audio and audio advertising channel for the next era,” said Marshall Williams, Partner and CEO at Ad Results Media. 


About Ad Results Media
ARM is the world’s leading creator-based media agency, specializing in branded spoken-word advertising: the most authentic, memorable and mutually beneficial format for growth. With more than 20 years of experience, ARM effectively connects audiences with brand messages, delivering richer and more meaningful ROI in the form of reach, relevance and resonance. The company, with offices in Houston, Austin and San Diego, is a leading purchaser of audio influencer ads globally and leverages its strong relationships within the industry to connect brands with the world’s most high-profile news, sports and entertainment creators. Follow their journey on social @adresultsmedia as they amplify the sound of success. 

About Edison Research
Edison Research conducts survey research and provides strategic information to a broad array of clients, including Activision, AMC Theatres, Disney, Dolby Laboratories, Google, Oracle, the U.S. International Broadcasting Bureau, Pandora, Samsung, Siemens, Sony, The Gates Foundation, and Univision. Edison Research is the leading podcast research company in the world and has conducted research on the medium for NPR, Slate, ESPN, PodcastOne, WNYC Studios, and many more companies in the space.  Another specialty for Edison is its work for media companies throughout the world, conducting research in North America, South America, Africa, Asia, Australia, and Europe. Edison Research is also the leading provider of consumer exit polling and has conducted face-to-face research in almost every imaginable venue. Since 2004, Edison Research has been the sole provider of Election Day data to the National Election Pool, conducting exit polls and collecting precinct vote returns to project and analyze results for every major U.S. presidential primary and general election.

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