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A Majority of US Podcast Listeners Tune In Regularly

Many US podcast listeners tune in frequently, and three in 10 daily listeners have bought products based on podcast ads, according to research from CivicScience.

The September 2019 survey found that nearly one-third of US podcast listeners tune in daily, and a similar figure listens weekly. But the study also found a difference in purchasing patterns between the two groups. Thirty percent of daily listeners ages 13 and older said they had purchased an item after hearing a sponsored ad for it. One in five weekly listeners reported the same.

Many podcast ads are read by hosts, giving the products an extra endorsement. And with daily listeners ultimately exposed to more host-read ads than weekly listeners, it’s not surprising to see a higher portion of daily listeners making purchases after hearing an ad.

“People find resonance with podcasts, and they want to talk about [them] a lot,” said Alex Kubo, vice president of ecommerce and digital marketing at furniture company Burrow. “Podcasts [can] grab somebody's attention and walk them all the way down the funnel.”

We estimate that there will be 76.4 million US podcast listeners in 2019, making up 37.3% of digital audio listeners. This number will grow to 85.4 million, nearly 40% of the digital audio listening population, by 2023.

Advertisers see significant value in targeting this highly engaged audience and are frequently making podcast ads a part of their larger digital audio buys, particularly host-read ads. The Interactive Advertising Bureau and PwC estimated in June 2019 that podcast ad revenues would pass the $1 billion mark by 2021.

Podcast listeners are heavy consumers of audio in general, making them a prime target for advertisers. US podcast listeners ages 13 and older averaged 5 hours, 32 minutes daily listening to audio—including AM/FM radio, streaming music and podcasts—nearly an hour and a half more than the broader audio listening audience, according to Q2 data from Edison Research cited by radio network Westwood One.