Nearly a quarter of Americans get their news from podcasts, suggesting that the medium is now in the mix as yet another way people access news, according to a new study from Pew Research Center.
At the same time, more than half of survey respondents (56%) say they never get news from podcasts, indicating there is still significant potential for growth in news delivery via podcasts.
The data comes from two separate surveys of U.S. adults conducted from July to August 2021, and from August to September in 2020. Both studies are part of Pew’s American Trends Panel, in which thousands of participants are recruited to be part of the research panel. For the 2020 study, 9,220 adults participated. For 2021, there were 11,178 participants. The margin of sampling error for the 2021 respondents was plus or minus 1.4 percentage points.
In the 2021 survey, the percentage of Americans who say they often get news from a podcast remains small: just 7%. And the number that said they sometimes get news from podcasts was 16%. Combined, that’s 23% who get news from podcasts, a significant number given the context: It’s easy for popular podcasters to help perpetuate misinformation.
Some groups are more likely than others to get news from podcasts, the Pew study found. For example, younger adults are more likely than older adults to do so. One in three of those aged 18 to 29 say they get news from podcasts at least sometimes, while that number declines to only 12% of adults aged 65 and older. A similar number (about 33%) of those 30-49 get their news at least sometimes from podcasts, while only 20% of people aged 50-64 say the same among
The split by gender indicates that men and women get news from podcasts at similar rates (25% and 21%, respectively).
Education and income are also factors. U.S. adults with at least a college degree are more likely to get news at least sometimes from podcasts than those with a high school education or less (28% vs. 17%, respectively).
But ethnicity appears not to make a material difference, nor does political affiliation. Roughly a quarter of both Republicans and independents who lean toward the Republican Party, as well as Democrats and those who lean toward the Democratic party, get news from podcasts (23% and 24%, respectively).
Read the full analysis here.