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Nielsen: podcasts boom during Covid, radio audiences remain strong

Podcasts boom during Covid, radio audiences remain strong

“Radio is the center of the total audience universe” says Nielsen in its latest¬†Audio Today 2022 report.

Indeed, radio alone reaches 93% of all US adults monthly, according to the report; streaming music, podcasts, or listening via satellite reaches 60% of the public combined in comparison.

Nielsen notes, however, that an increasing percentage of radio listeners are doing so via streaming (8% in Q2 2020 compared to 12% in Q1 2022).

Alongside radio’s continued pre-eminence for reach, podcasting has risen to become one of the most popular audio mediums since the beginning of the pandemic. Half (51%) of daily podcast listeners began listening to podcasts in just the past two years, and audiences report listening to more podcasts more frequently.

Among podcast genres, comedy and news attract the largest audiences (28.3 million and 26.8 million, respectively). Other genres, such as true crime and music have seen tremendous growth. True crime podcasts have increased listenership by 66% since November of 2019 to 21.5 million; music podcast listeners have more than doubled (109%) to 18.6 million in the same timeframe.

Increasing audience uptake is also driving demand for advertising, especially given that a recent study by Acast found that 64% listeners paid full attention to podcasts, compared to 49% for music streamers and 44% of radio listeners.

Given the demographic of audio listeners (radio is still a primarily car- and work-based medium for listenership, with peaks during rush hours on weekdays), Nielsen also reports that audio listeners are more likely to shop in stores, attend events, work in the office, and travel via plane than non-audio consumers.

Nielsen states that as audiences return to pre-pandemic routines, “the audio landscape has never had more potential for advertisers.”

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