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Earlier this year, I had the opportunity to hike at 15,000 feet to the crater of the Nevado de Toluca, a stratovolcano in Mexico and the country’s fourth highest point. At that altitude, it is strenuous to ascend even just four steps toward the peak before you hear your heart pounding as your lungs try to absorb as much oxygen as possible from the thin air. No doubt, I considered turning back throughout the climb, but what kept me going was a little mental exercise I think the podcast industry can apply as major companies in the space face budget cuts, layoffs, and other headwinds.
To ascend the peak, one must set milestones and celebrate the small accomplishments. Because it’s when you feel the most strained that you’re usually the closest to a worthwhile achievement you might be unaware of. Knowing how close you are can be your extra motivation to get there. It’s a simple method employed by hikers, and a modest approach podcasting can use to keep moving forward. To that end, here’s something for podcasters worth celebrating and a couple of milestones worth targeting.
Our latest quarterly update of Share of Ear® shows the time Americans spend listening to podcasts has grown to a record-high: nine percent of all the time that the U.S. population spends with audio is now spent listening to podcasts. Podcasting is now one point shy of ‘double digits’ – just a few more challenging steps away.
Another way to look at the medium’s share is by removing music from the equation and isolating spoken word content, such as news and talk radio or audiobooks. Through this scope, Share of Ear this quarter reveals an all-time high 31% of all spoken word audio listening going to podcasts: an increase from 4% in 2014, and just a few points from podcasts accounting for one-third of all spoken word audio. It’s an important “milepost” to set your eyes on.
We’re observing these Share of Ear statistics on the heels of our 2023 Infinite Dial® report, which captured a rebound in U.S. weekly podcast listeners since a dip observed in 2022. Today, we estimate a record-high 89 million Americans are listening to podcasts weekly, which means the 100-million weekly listener mark is on the horizon.
These are exciting accomplishments during a time of economic turbulence. Podcasters, we hope these serve as a reminder of how far you have taken the medium and the push you need to keep moving upward.
If you want more on this topic, then join me at The Podcast Show 2023 in London on May 24. I plan to showcase how far podcasting has come and provide insights you can use to take the medium further.
Registration is open for annual Moms and Media webinar
Just in time for Mother’s Day, Edison Research will present its annual Moms and Media study from The Research Moms in a 30-minute webinar on Thursday, May 11 at 2pm EDT.
Edison Research Vice President (and Research Mom) Melissa DeCesare will present the latest findings as well as emerging trends from the last few years. Moms and Media provides insight on U.S. moms and their media usage, device ownership, social media habits, and current outlook on tech. The study also includes data on smart speaker ownership, podcast listening, and online audio usage.
In addition to data from The Infinite Dial® study from Edison Research and sponsored by Amazon Music, Wondery, and ART19, this year’s research also incorporates results from a new, national online study.