Survey reveals that 70% of podcast consumers listen to most of an episode

Full completion rates are falling, however

Podcast engagement is holding steady, according to the latest quarterly Measurement of Internet Delivered Audio Services (MIDAS) Summer 2022 report on digital audio consumption trends in the UK. 

The report, published by Radio Joint Audience Research Ltd (RAJAR), consisted of findings from a survey of over 1,600 adult listeners of audio content across a range of categories.

It revealed that 70% of podcast consumers listen most of the way through to an episode they’ve downloaded, which is a 1% increase from the MIDAS Winter 2021 report. However, the number of respondents who said they would listen to the whole episode dropped to 60%, a slide of 7% compared to last year.  

“On average listeners tune in to just under an hour a day  - which is probably just time for two episodes of something a day,” said Matt Deegan, creative director at radio and new media consultancy Folder Media. “The challenge for shows is to make sure you can build habitual listening to ensure that it's your podcast that gets listened to each week."

Although live radio still dominates, podcasts are the third most popular form of audio listening, behind on-demand music. This is a 1% increase since 2019’s Summer report. Podcasting is also in third place in terms of audio reach at 19%, which has increased by 2% in the past three years. 

"There's lots of good news for podcasters in the latest MIDAS data, with over 10 million people now listening to podcasts each week,” said Deegan. “This is a great market - but it also means 80% of the country isn't listening yet - so lots of growth is still possible.”

Other findings from the research included insights on podcast listener demographics, which showed that podcasts are mostly popular with people between the ages of 35-54 and tend to reach male listeners more heavily, with 58% likely to favour them. 

Podcasts are also more likely to be listened to alone as 93% of the survey participants have said, with 19% being on public transport or walking and 16% listening in a place of work or study.