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Podcast Listenership Trends Moving Into 2021

Discover the growing trends in podcast listenership for 2021 and why your business should consider implementing podcasting in your marketing strategy.

Lady walking, looking at her phone, and a magnifying glass zooming into a graph with a upwards line graph.

What is the most important measurement of your marketing efforts? Most executives would give the same answer: ROI. We’re most comfortable creating marketing content that is easy to track through to the final purchase. We like to know exactly who our audience is and how to reach them.

Perhaps that’s why podcasting seems like a tricky medium. Metrics and ROI are murkier. How do you know you’re reaching the right audience? 

Precious Time

Let’s back WAY up and ask a more important question:

What dollar value would you put on 15 minutes of someone’s time, one-on-one? What’s the value of 30 minutes to speak directly to a potential customer, or even 60?

Podcasts give you that opportunity. Relationships are built on communication, and podcasting is the number one way to communicate with the best possible audience: people who have questions that you can answer, interests you can explore, and ultimately, challenges that your business can solve.

Listen(ers) Up

Why does it seem like everyone in your industry is putting out podcasts? Isn’t the market saturated?

Instead of worrying about getting a slice of the pie, consider the fact that the pie keeps getting larger and larger.

Why is podcast listenership growing?

The number of heavy podcast listeners—those who listen to podcasts every day—grew by more than 3.6 million in the last year. There are several reasons for this dramatic increase:

  • Media engagement is increasing overall: U.S. consumers now engage with media for almost 12 hours each day; a 1.5-hour increase from the year before.
  • Consumers are getting pickier: Rather than flipping through radio broadcasts or surfing channels, consumers would prefer to choose content that suits their specific interests and needs. 
  • Increasing access to portable technology: The now-ubiquitous smartphone gives consumers access to media from wherever they are. Smart speakers and in-vehicle devices (such as Bluetooth) make listening to podcasts easy from any location.

In fact, a recent study showed that 26% of drivers in the US listen to podcasts while in the car. This is a 23% increase from 2018.

  • Podcasts are the perfect medium for portable consumption: as listeners can tune in while commuting or sitting at their desks without the necessity of watching a screen.
  • More interest from streaming services: When Spotify added podcast streaming in 2019, the number of podcast listeners between the ages of 12 to 24 jumped by 10%. As more platforms adopt the podcast format, listenership will continue to grow.

We’ve only just begun

A 2020 report by Infinite Dial found that 32% of the US population now listens to a podcast on a monthly basis. That number has increased by 17 million people since 2018. The time to get your foot in the door and grow your own podcast listenership is now.

Tobe’s creative team can help you get started. Reach out today for a complimentary podcast marketing consultation.

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