The American audience is almost evenly split between those who listen to podcasts and those who don’t, according to a new study by the Pew Center for Research.
Of the individuals polled, 49% have listened to a podcast in the last 12 months, and 51% have not. Roughly 20% listen at least a few times a week, including 33% of adults under 30.
Democrats and those who lean that way are slightly more likely to have listened to a podcast in the past 12 months: 54%, versus 46% for Republicans. And 69% of Democrats say news is discussed on the podcasts they listen to, compared to 65% of Republicans.
But Republicans are more likely to trust the news they get from podcasts—46% say so, compared to 19% of Democrats.
Overall, 87% expect the news on podcasts to be accurate, and 31% trust it more than news they get from other sources, with 55% saying the level is about the same and 15% who find it less trustworthy.
In general, people listen to podcasts for these reasons:
Moreover, consumers are influenced by podcasts, with these percentages doing the following because of a podcast they listened to:
Of those who have favorites, 22% say they listen to a podcast most because they feel highly connected the host, and 38% say that is somewhat true.
Those who named a podcast they like cited these programs:
Politics and government are the biggest podcast draws. Of those who have a podcast they listen to, most listed these topics:
Pew surveyed 5,132 U.S. adults from Dec. 5-11, 2022.