15 to 34-year-olds spend twice as long listening to podcasts as older people

Overall podcast consumption is down by 1% since Spring 2023, according to MIDAS

People aged 15 to 34 are spending 12% of their audio listening time with podcasts, according to the latest data from the MIDAS Autumn 2023 survey, which is double the amount of time spent listening by people aged 35 to 54, and four times as much as those over 55. 

The RAJAR quarterly survey looks at how audio content is being consumed and the habits of listeners. Data used in this report is based on a survey that was carried out over two weeks in September this year with 2,410 former RAJAR respondents aged 15 and above. 

According to the latest results, the demographic that is listening to podcasts the least, with podcasts only accounting for 3% of their audio listening, are respondents aged 55 and above. Overall, podcast consumption amongst adults aged 15+ is down by 1% since the MIDAS Spring 2023 survey, but so are other forms of audio including live radio, on-demand music services and digital tracks. 

Previous quarterly MIDAS surveys also highlight that podcast listening is steadily growing year on year, up from 10.3% in Autumn 2017, while other forms of audio have experienced various dips, with on-demand music services reaching a peak in Winter 2021 at 34.9% and going down to 32.2% in Autumn 2023, according to an analysis on the MIDAS survey by podcast expert Adam Bowie.

Live radio continued to claim the highest share of audio amongst adults aged 15+ at 88%, followed by on-demand music services and podcasts, respectively. While the majority of listeners consume live radio while driving/travelling (56%), podcasts are more likely to be enjoyed during other activities like working and studying (24%) and relaxing (19%). Over 90% of respondents also tune in to podcasts alone compared to live radio, where 28% are listening with partners or colleagues. 

The report also highlights that the engagement of podcast listeners is strong, with 63% of podcast consumers listening to more than half of downloaded episodes, and over 70% listening to all or mostly all of the episodes they download. The engagement has remained strong since last year, when the MIDAS Summer 2022 report showed that 68% of podcast consumers were listening to whole episodes.