Study: Podcasting and Audiobooks Both Attain 50% Reach

Edison Research and Triton Digital
Edison Research and Triton Digital

Podcasting is showing explosive year-over-year growth as the 2019 Infinite Dial Study by Edison Research and Triton Digital reflect gains in spoken-word audio. Among the U.S. population ages 12 and older, the total number of people who have ever listened to a podcast passes 50% for the first time. One-third of the population reported having listened to a podcast in the last month, representing 90 million monthly listeners. The spoken-word audio sector also saw increases with audiobooks, as the portion of the U.S. population that has ever listened to an audiobook surpasses one-half for the first time.

"This is a watershed moment for podcasting -- a true milestone. With over half of Americans 12+ saying that they have ever listened to a podcast, the medium has firmly crossed into the mainstream," noted Edison Research Senior VP Tom Webster.

"It's a pleasure to once again partner with Edison Research for another insightful presentation of media usage and consumption in the U.S." added Triton Digital President of Market Development John Rosso.

The latest study also finds that the number of current users of Facebook continues to drop. The study shows an estimated 15 million fewer users of Facebook than in the 2017 report. The declines are heavily concentrated among younger people.

Other findings include:

  • More than half the U.S. population now reports having used YouTube specifically for music in last week. This number is now 70% among 12-34-year-olds.

  • The percentage of Americans who listen to online audio (defined as listening to AM/FM radio stations online and/or listening to streamed audio content available only on the internet) has doubled since 2012, growing from one-third of the population to two-thirds.

  • Time spent listening to online audio has reached a record high this year, with weekly online audio listeners reporting an average of nearly 17 hours of listening in the last week.
The 2019 Infinite Dial is the latest report in a series dating back to 1998 that covers consumer usage of media and technology, and has tracked many new mediums as they develop. The Infinite Dial currently provides the latest research in U.S. digital audio, mobile, smart speakers, podcast consumption, and social media. To view the presentation, visit www.edisonresearch.com/infinite-dial-2019/


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