Podcast and Online Audio Engagement Continue to Grow Among Middle-Aged Americans

March 8, 2023

This article is included in these additional categories:

Boomers & Older | Demographics & Audiences | Industries | Media & Entertainment | Men | Teens & Younger | Women | Youth & Gen X

Some 42% of Americans ages 12 and older report listening to podcasts on at least a monthly basis, up from 38% last year and topping the previous high of 41% from 2021, according to the latest edition of The Infinite Dial [pdf] from Edison Research, produced in partnership with Amazon Music, Wondery, and ART19.

Both the share of respondents reporting podcasting familiarity (83%, up from 79%) and having ever listened to a podcast (64%, up from 62%) reached new highs in this latest annual report.

Men and women each reported gains in monthly podcast listening, with men up to 46% from 41% last year and women to 39% from 36%.

Notably, respondents ages 35-54 reported the biggest gains in podcast listening. This year 51% say they listen on at least a monthly basis, up considerably from 43% last year. This puts them on almost equal footing with the 12-34 age group, 55% of whom indicated that they listen each month. That was up from 50% last year, but not quite matching this age group’s previous high of 56% from 2021.

Last year, 35-54-year-olds had bucked the trend as the only age cohort examined that had increased their adoption of podcasts, such that this latest survey cements the medium’s growing popularity among this group. Indeed, recent research indicates that the 35-44 age group is more likely to listen to podcasts than the 18-24 bracket. MarketingCharts found the same trend in its latest Media Audience Demographics report, with the 25-34 group the highest-indexing in weekly podcast listening, followed by the 35-44 and 18-24 brackets.

As for weekly podcast listening, this latest report finds an uptick, with almost one-third (31%) of Americans ages 12 and up now reporting tuning in to podcasts at this frequency. Weekly listening remains more common among men (35%) than women (27%), though both rose from last year (from 28% and 23%, respectively).

Weekly podcast listening grew among age groups under the age of 55, and middle-aged adults (39%, up from 31%) are now about as likely as 12-34-year-olds (40%, up from 33%) to tune in each week. Those ages 55 and older are less apt to have made a habit of listening to podcasts, with about 1 in 7 (14%) doing so each week.

Online Audio Engagement Also Climbs

As with podcasting, the percentage of US respondents ages 12+ who listened to online audio in the previous month rose this year, reaching 75%, up from 73% last year. The increase was highest among the 35-54 (85%, up from 81%) group, again almost matching the 12-34 bracket (89%, up from 87%).

Weekly online audio listening (referring to AM/FM radio stations online and/or streamed audio content available only on the internet) also climbed, to reach 7 in 10 respondents, up from two-thirds (67%) last year and 62% in 2021.

Finally, 53% of respondents said they’ve ever listened to an audiobook, the first time passing the majority threshold. More than one-third (35%) said they’ve listened to an audiobook in the past year, also a new high.

For more on the audience breakdown of online radio and podcast listeners, purchase MarketingCharts’ 9th Annual Media Audience Demographics Report.

About the Data: The results are based on a January survey of 1,500 people in the US ages 12 and older.


Explore More Articles.

Marketing Charts Logo

Stay on the cutting edge of marketing.

Sign up for our free newsletter.

You have Successfully Subscribed!

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This