Segment from Episode 322 of the Beyond Social Media Show

Transcript: Paying For Podcasts

David Erickson: Paying for podcasts. This is from YouGov. It is based on 2600 US adults, of whom roughly half listen to podcasts. So it’s a survey from 2020; June, 2020.

17% Of Podcasts Listeners Pay For Them

David Erickson: Of the 50% of US adults who listen to podcasts, around one in 6, 17%, have paid to listen to one, while a majority are open to a mix of free and paid podcast models. I am just shocked at that, actually.

BL Ochman: Really. I’m not paying for any.

David Erickson: I didn’t even know that people were paying for podcasts. So now I’m gonna seek out some of those and see what they’re about that people would actually pay for.

Demographics Of For-Fee Podcast Listeners

David Erickson: There’s some demographics on these–percentage of US adult podcast listeners who have ever paid or donated money to access or listen to a podcast. There’s a difference between paying and donating, too, I guess.

  • 21% are male,
  • 12% are female.
  • 20% are 18 to 34 years old,
  • 20% are 35 to 54, and
  • 8% are 55-plus.
  • 22% are Black,
  • 18% are Hispanic,
  • 15% are white.
  • 16% have no high school or are a high school grad,
  • 14% have some college, two years,
  • 17% have a four year degree, and
  • 23% are postgrads.

So, interesting data but the big headline was, What, People Pay For Podcasts?

BL Ochman: Not that I know of. But we must be missing something.

David Erickson: Exactly.

Chart: For-Fee Podcast Listeners

Of the 50% of US adults who listen to podcasts, around 1 in 6 (17%) have paid to listen to one, while a majority are open to a mix of free and paid podcast models.

These are some of the findings presented by data from YouGov exploring the finer points of podcast consumption, including how listening habits differ by gender, age, region and race.

Podcasts are an increasingly popular form of content creation and consumption, with previous data from Nielsen showing that the percentage of adults who listen to podcasts daily grew by 3.6 million in 2019.

Though half of the respondents to YouGov’s June 2020 poll do not listen to podcasts, some 37% listen to them once a month or more.

While the typical model for podcasts is free and ad-supported — a feature that is also key in attracting listeners to AM/FM radio — the data indicates some openness to paid models.

Among listeners that have never paid to listen to a podcast, 1 in 5 state they are somewhat or very likely to do so in the next 12 months.

Those who have already paid or donated money for a podcast typically come from younger age groups, with listeners ages 18-34 (20%) and 35-54 (20%) more likely to have done so than those 55+ (8%). Read the rest at Marketing Charts.

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