Radio Survey Finds Audience For Podcasting Up 87%

Apr 21st, 2008 | By | Category: Podcasting Research, Podcasting Statistics

According to the most recent Tech Poll from radio research firm Jacobs Media, the audience for podcasts is up 87% year to year among rock radio listeners.

Here are some of the highlights of their research:

  • New technology continues to rapidly move into radio listeners’ lives. This year, the “big gainers” in terms of occupying their time includes streaming video, iPod ownership (and podcasting), and text messaging. Almost the entire sample now owns a cell phone and has access to a hi-speed Internet connection.
  • In-home radio listening is declining, as respondents continue to utilize other media in their residences.
  • A variety of things are cutting into people’s time listening to radio:
    • Reading news online
    • Social networking sites (continuing to grow)
    • iPods/mp3 players (getting bigger every year)
    • Podcasting (up 87% year to year)
    • Streaming radio
    • Music sites like Pandora, iTunes
    • Video games (which was trending down last year)
    • Cell phones (which continue to be huge)
    • DVDs
    • TiVo/DVRs (which leads to more television viewing)
    • Video sites like YouTube
  • Nearly six in ten respondents own a iPod/portable media player, an increase of 23% over last year’s poll. And the iPod’s presence in cars continues to rise.
  • HD Radio is going nowhere fast – awareness is limited to about 1 in 100 people surveyed.
  • Three in ten (28%) respondents (whether they own an iPod or not) say they’ve downloaded/listened to a podcast.
  • Two-thirds (69%) of those listening to podcasts are very or somewhat willing to access a free podcast that contains an introductory commercial from a sponsor.

The survey also found that iPods and podcasts are replacing traditional radio listening at key listening times:

  • 40% say they never listen to the radio while walking/working out.
  • At-work listening has also shown some erosion. While nearly one-fourth (23%) say they never listen to radio on the job, an additional 16% say they’re listening a little/a lot less at work. While three in ten (28%) report more listening in the workplace, that figure is down from the ’07 survey (31%).

This year’s study was conducted from February 26-March 5, 2008. Data was collected from 27,029 respondents from a total of 69 Classic, Mainstream/Active, and Alternative stations in markets as diverse as Los Angeles, Philadelphia, Grand Rapids, and Greenville, South Carolina.

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No Responses to “Radio Survey Finds Audience For Podcasting Up 87%”

  1. Final Taxi says:

    I have gone through 2 of those surveys in the last 6 months. I always put I listened to podcasts- even though they didn’t have a spot for it.

    I one I did over the phone the lady didn’t even want to hear what I listened to over the Internet. I told her her survey would be wrong and that a lot of people listen to podcasts or music over the Internet.

    She said she would but my comments on the side notes. Wonder if they mattered? Only when they do these surveys right will advertisers take podcasts as a money making venue for them and therefore pay us.

  2. James Lewin says:

    Final Taxi – I agree with you 100%.

    Even the Arbitron/Edison numbers, which reflect pretty favorably on podcasting’s growth, are suspect to me because their podcast definition doesn’t include many of the music podcasts that I subscribe to – like NIN’s.

  3. seasick1 says:

    This is great. Hopefully a variety of independent podcasts will be continued to be featured on major portals during the continued growth spurt.

  4. Tom Webster says:

    James–in the spirit of continuous improvement, we are always tweaking and refining our studies. Given that the definition we use in the Arbitron/Edison survey actually uses the word “podcast,” and does include “hosted music programs,” would you have said “no” to our question in the context of taking such a survey?

    We realize the definition is an artificial construct, of course, but we feel to not define podcasting potentially misses out on a lot of downloadable media consumption that should be considered a podcast, even if it goes by any other name. At any rate, the definition has not been changed over the past three years, so while I am sure it misses some podcast behavior, the trend is your friend, as we say in the business. Apples to apples, year over year, the growth is real.



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