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    How can broadcast radio benefit from podcasting popularity — reaching more listeners by targeting pod people? Universal insights from an American study.

    Megan Lazovick, director of research at Edison Research, shared insights at Next Radio 2017, showing reasons why and how people listen to podcasts, what they like about it, and how radio can benefit more from the increasing popularity of podcasting. And even if your station is not based in the US, these numbers may indicate a global trend of where we are heading. Some news seems bad, but in my interpretation, we can turn challenges into opportunities.
    Increase your focus groups

    Lazovick introduced us to some of these “pod people” by showing reality footage of podcast fans n their twenties and thirties, from a woman listening while doing make-up (with the smartphone on the table) to a man listening in his car (connecting his smartphone to his stereo via bluetooth). To find out what people appreciate about podcasts, the research company did some face-to-face interviews with heavy podcast users, and received answers such as:

    “If I get stuck in traffic sometimes I’m excited about that, because it means I get to listen to another story or another podcast, or finish what I’m listening to” (woman)
    “Every nuance that you could imagine, there’s usually a podcast for that, so I felt like: since then, it just really expanded me as a person” (woman)
    “I had opinions on certain things, and I thought like: how could anybody see it any different, and then I listened to these podcasts, and then I’m like: this comes out from a whole different angle, and now I can see why somebody’s doing this other thing, or believes this other way” (man)

    Know your audience behaviour

    Edison Research and Triton Digital’s mutual Infinite Dial 2017 study shows that an estimated 168 million (60% of all) Americans are now familiar with the term podcasting, while about a quarter of all Americans actually listens to podcasts.

    In a study called Share of Ear, Edison and Triton research how listeners consume audio in terms of time, location, platform and device, and whether they listen to speech or to music. It’s based on a ‘nationally representative survey of Americans 13+’ delivering data from ‘6,500 one-day audio diaries’, including people without access to the Internet for this survey (giving them a paper diary). There is absolutely potential for podcasts and other speech content, as currently:

    86% listen to music each day
    41% listen to speech each day
    75% of audio listening time goes to music
    25% of audio listening time goes to speech
    Develop your speech-only content

    Change your production workflow

    “If you’re a podcaster, this [25% listening time to speech] is your market share. You need to think about speech audio and music as two completely separate tracks”, Megan Lazovick advises. The people who listen to speech each day, do what you would expect: they spend less than the average audio listening time on music (53% instead of 75%), and more than the average audio listening time on speech (47% instead of 25%), in other words: those who like speech audio, spend almost half of their audio listening time on that.


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