How Ads Affect the Top Podcast Demographics

BY Rachel Cagle
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Chances are, you’ve picked up a new podcast or two over the course of the last year while social distancing. Podcasts are one of the quickly growing forms of digital entertainment and the pandemic definitely gave the medium a boost in popularity. There’s one thing you may not know about the podcast landscape. According to a report by Nielsen, podcast demographics are more diverse than the U.S. population as a whole.

Podcast Demographics

According to Nielsen, “41% of U.S. podcast listeners are non-​White… And the depth of non-​White podcast listeners is the result of annual growth rates that notably outpaced the growth of White listeners over the past decade.” Black and Asian American podcast listeners’ numbers are now five times the number they were in 2010. There are now more than 4.2 million Black podcast listeners and two million people tuning in who are Asian American. Hispanic consumers, in particular, are showing an increasing interest in podcasts. Between 2010 and 2019, the number of Hispanic podcast listeners shot up from 1.075 million to nearly 6.8 million. This makes Hispanic Americans the fastest growing demographic among podcast audiences.

Listening Habits by Demographic

According to Nielsen’s Podcasting Today report, the types of content that podcast listeners prefer is as diverse as they are. Here are the top five genres per audience (listed in order most avid podcast demographics):

  • White: History, Science, Society and Culture, News and True Crime
  • Hispanic: Kids and Family, Technology, Music, Arts and Leisure
  • Black: Music, Health and Fitness, Religion, Kids and Family and Government
  • Asian American: Technology, Science, Business, News and Society and Culture
  • Other: Arts, Music, Comedy, Religion and Kids and Family

When it comes to the most popular genres among podcast demographics, the most popular time of day to listen to each is:

  • History: Weekdays between 3 p.m. and 7 p.m.
  • Kids and Family: No specified time
  • Music: Weekdays between 12 p.m. and 3 p.m.
  • Technology: No specified time
  • Arts: Weekdays between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m.

Nielsen also found the median household incomes of podcast audiences per genre. Among the most popular genres for each audience, median incomes are approximately:

  • History: $91,645
  • Kids and Family: $60,981
  • Music: $64,740
  • Technology: $95,852
  • Arts: $70,995

Advertising in Podcasts

Ads played during podcasts and mentions made of products or services during the show have more of an impact on the audience than your advertising clients may think.

For starters, about 53% of those who tune in are heavy podcast listeners. This means that they tune in at last four times per month (13%), if not every day (15%) or some amount in between. 75% of these audiences also listen to more than one podcast during an average week of listening.

Heavy podcast listeners are likely to take action after hearing a podcast ad in a few ways. The most common way these listeners take action is to visit the mentioned company’s website to learn more about the advertised product or service (62%). While they’re on the site, 40% will purchase the advertised product or service. 10% of listeners also tend to take action by visiting a retail location in person, at which point they’re invested in the product and will most likely purchase it. Nielsen found that, among podcast demographics, Black consumers are more likely to take action because of ads than other demographics, with Hispanic consumers not far behind them.

Does your client want to know how podcast ads affect their target audiences specifically? Take a gander at their profiles on AudienceSCAN on AdMall by SalesFuel to find out.