Podcast Ad Spending to Almost Double: Who’s the Target Audience?

July 6, 2017

Podcast advertising spending grew by 72% year-over-year in 2016 to reach $119 million, and is expected to grow by another 85% this year to hit $220 million, according to a report [pdf] from the IAB and PwC. Advertisers are chasing after a growing and receptive, as an estimated 24% of Americans aged 12 and older listening to podcasts on at least a monthly basis. New data from Nielsen suggests [download page] that the podcast audience is an attractive one, profiling as relatively young with high-incomes and educational attainment.

Looking at the adult (18+) podcast audience (defined as those who had used the internet/apps in the past 30 days on any device to watch, listen or download podcasts), Nielsen’s study reveals that:

  • About half (49.4%) of the podcast audience is aged 25-44; with
  • The 25-34 bracket constituting the single largest age group (28.2% share); while
  • Almost one-fifth of podcast listeners are aged 18-24.

With respect to their socio-economic characteristics, the study indicates that podcast listeners are:

  • 68% more likely than the adult population overall to have a post-graduate degree and 45% more likely to have a graduate degree;
  • 32% more likely to have a household income (HHI) of at least $75k and 45% more likely to have an HHI of at least $250k; while being
  • 51% more likely to be working in management and 60% more likely to be professionals.

What genres entice these listeners? Drawing from an earlier Nielsen Entertainment Fanlinks survey of podcast fans, the report shows that comedy podcasts are the most appealing, followed by educational and news genres.

About the Data: The IAB and PwC data is based on a survey of leading podcast advertising revenue generators, including publishers and ad networks.

Nielsen’s data is based on Scarborough USA Release 2, 2016.


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