US podcast listening hits new high

Around one third of population now listen to podcasts, according to Infinite Dial 2023

Roughly one in three people in the US now listen to podcasts on a weekly basis, according to Edison Research’s Infinite Dial 2023 report, representing an all-time high in the medium’s popularity.

The annual study, which is now in its 25th year, surveys digital media consumption trends in US residents aged 12 and over, with a sample size of 1,500 participants. According to the data, 31% of the population listen to podcasts on a weekly basis, representing an estimated 89 million people. 

This surpasses the previous high of 28% in 2021, and represents a return to the pre-pandemic growth trends seen in podcast consumption. Weekly listening spiked highest in respondents between 12 and 34 years old at 40%, and those in the 35 to 54 age bracket were just behind at 39%. However, those aged 55 and up lagged behind, with just 14% listening to podcasts on a weekly basis. 

The average number of podcast episodes listened to by respondents was nine, with a quarter of respondents reporting they listened to between six to 10 episodes in the previous week. The podcast revolution is even reaching those who don’t listen, with 83% of respondents now saying they are familiar with podcasting. 

In fact, online audio listening is up across the board, according to the study, and the report recommended that advertisers should be moving more of their budgets into audio “in all its forms”.

“After two previous annual studies that showed clear effects from the COVID-19 disruptions, the trends in audio and social media habits seem to be back on pattern,” said Edison Research vice president Megan Lazovick. “The growth of online audio and podcasting to record high levels is exciting to reveal.”

“Having credible data is the key to growing the audio space for creators and advertisers alike,” said Jeanine Wright, Wondery COO and general manager. “Everyone at Amazon Music, Wondery, and ART19 is proud to support the annual Infinite Dial survey, providing information that the audio and social media spaces can use to plan their strategies in the year ahead.”