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Report: Podcast Listeners Are Engaged with Favorite Hosts


Cumulus Media
Cumulus Media

For the ninth edition of the Podcast Download series, Cumulus Media and Signal Hill Insights retained MARU/Matchbox to conduct an in-depth study of 603 weekly podcast listeners in October, 2022. The Fall 2022 Report highlights trends from prior studies and examines new topics such as co-listening among parents with children and listener perceptions of brand safety and content appropriateness. This week's Cumulus Media | Westwood One Audio Active Group blog looks at how podcast listeners are engaging with their favorite shows and hosts.

  • Podcast listeners have the podcast habit, listening to more episodes and more shows per week versus April 2022: Weekly listeners now consume 5.2 podcasts per week on average, up +11% from April 2022. Weekly listeners consume 6.5 episodes in an average week, up +5% from the Spring.

  • Heavy podcast listeners are at an all-time high: In 2019, 36% of weekly podcast listeners consumed 6+ hours per week. In 2022, the heavy podcast listener group grew to 39%, an all-time high.

  • Podcast listeners seek out opportunities to connect with their favorite podcast hosts: 56% of weekly listeners follow them on social media.

  • Weekly podcast listeners are interested in attending both virtual and in-person podcast events: 47% of weekly listeners say they would be very or somewhat likely to attend a live in-person event of their favorite podcast. More than half of weekly listeners would attend a live virtual event.

  • 43% of heavy podcast listeners are paid subscribers to a podcast: Almost half of heavy podcast listeners and 31% of the weekly audience are paid subscribers of podcasts.

  • Exclusive content trumps an ad-free experience as a decision driver for paying for a podcast: 54% of weekly listeners say exclusive, original content or exclusive access to creators and hosts would influence their decision to pay for podcast content the most.

  • Podcast listeners want new content as soon as it is available with 73% of weekly listeners and 82% of heavy listeners listening to new episodes within 24 hours of release.

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