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Podcast audiences continue to grow, but which genres are proving most resonant with listeners? A new report [download page] from Nielsen examines the genres with the broadest popularity in US households, along with those that boast the most avid listeners.

The top 5 genres in terms of broad popularity are:

  • Music, with some 61.1 million US households having a fan of podcasts in this genre;
  • TV & Movies (60.5 million households);
  • Comedy (59.9 million);
  • Technology (58.9 million); and
  • Kids & Family (58.7 million).

Beyond broad popularity, Nielsen also provides further segmentation into these audiences, divvying them into Casual fans and Avid fans. Avid fans are those who consider themselves extremely interested in a certain genre of podcasts (top-2 box score on a 7-point scale of interest).

Looking specifically at Avid fans, the report shows that the top 4 genres remain consistent with the broader metric. In other words, Music has the most number of households with an Avid fan (37.1 million), followed by TV & Movies (36.8 million), Comedy (29.8 million) and Technology (27.2 million).

However Kids & Family falls out of the top 5 on this measure, skewing more to Casual fans than some other genres. It’s replaced instead by the Games & Hobby genre, which has 25 million households with an Avid fan.

The classifications allow Nielsen to analyze which genres have the highest and lowest percentages of total podcast fans that are Avid fans.

The Music and TV and Movies genres again top the list, as both have an equally high percentage (61%) of fans who are Avid fans. Comedy is again in third, as about half of Comedy podcast fans describe themselves as extremely interested in this genre.

Games & Hobbies (48%), Sports (46%) and Technology (46%) podcasts also have relatively high numbers of Avid fans relative to their total audience.

By contrast, some podcast genres tend to attract more Casual than Avid fans. For example, fewer than one-quarter (24%) of Business podcast fans describe themselves as Avid fans of this genre, and fewer than one-third of fans of Society & Culture (28%) and Arts (29%) podcast genres agree.

Expand and/or click the chart above for all the stats, and download the study here for much more data!

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