For the first time, more than 50% of Americans say they have listened to a podcast, according to the 2019 Infinite Dial study, conducted by Edison Research and Triton Digital.
The Infinite Dial has been tracking digital media consumption trends since 1998, making it one of the longest-running studies of the medium.
The 2019 edition of the study found 51% of Americans have reported listening to a podcast (around 144 million people), up from 44% a year before. Some 70% of Americans say they are “familiar” with podcasts, up from 64% a year before.
And 32% of Americans say they listen to podcasts monthly, up from 26% a year ago.
“This is a watershed moment for podcasting — a true milestone,” says Tom Webster, senior vice president, Edison Research. With over half of Americans 12+ saying they have listened to a podcast, the medium has firmly crossed into the mainstream.”
The study also found the average weekly podcast listener listened to seven podcasts in the past week. It found particularly strong podcast growth on Spotify, which has made investing in podcasts a top priority.
Among Spotify users age 12-24, 53% had listened to a podcast on the platform in the last month, up from 32% a year ago.
The rise in podcast listening coincides with a rise in podcast ad spending. The IAB estimates podcast revenue will hit $659 million by 2020.
Spotify is among the companies taking advantage of that growth. The
company purchased the podcasting platform Anchor and the podcast studio Gimlet Media earlier this year. It is said to be pursuing other acquisitions in the space.