American consumers are continuing to discovery podcasts, as listenership remains on the rise.
According to data from Edison Research and Triton Digital shared by the Pew Research Center, 44% of Americans 12 or older have listened to a podcast in 2018, with 26% having listened to one in the previous month. For comparison, in 2008 only 18% of Americans 12 and over said they had listened to a podcast, and only 9% said they had listened to one in the past month.
Podcast growth is driven, somewhat ironically, by linear radio programs, particularly those offered by National Public Radio. In any given week some 5.4 million unique listeners download at least one NPR podcast, up from two million four years ago.
The growth of podcasts has also sparked interest from advertisers, many of which are keen on reaching an audience in the more intimate setting that podcasts offer.
The Interactive Advertising Bureau announced earlier this month that it would hold its fourth annual podcast upfront in New York in September. Podcast networks like Panoply are on board, along with NPR and TV networks like ESPN and Univision.
The IAB estimates that podcast ad revenues will double by 2020, driven by increased listenership and a maturing audio ad business.