Nearly one in 10 adults have downloaded a podcast in the last 30 days, according to GfK MRI's Survey of the American Consumer. About one in 10 people (21 million total) may not seem like a significant amount, but the demographics of these listeners are impressive.
The survey categorizes a participant as an “influential” based on their engagement in community affairs – they must be involved in three or more public activities. These range from running for political office to sitting on an organization’s board. A whopping 20 percent of podcast listeners are considered influential – nearly three times more than the percentage of infuentials in the total adult population (seven percent). Influentials are considered valuable to marketers because they are a reliable, respected source able to voice their opinions to a greater audience.
Besides their respectful significance in the community, these users have other characteristics that fall well above the national average:
They’re active online – Seventy percent of podcast listeners use their mobile devices as a source of entertainment. This percentage has also visited a newspaper site and a magazine site in the last 30 days. They’re social media savvy and quick to share their opinions of a certain product or event. Sixty-eight percent enjoy watching and sharing video clips on their phones.
They’re young – Millennials make up a large portion of the podcast demographic – 45 percent are between the ages of 18 and 34.
They’re educated and up on current affairs – Approximately 53 percent of listeners are college graduates. They also stay educated on current events. About 30 percent regularly visit sites like nytimes.com and huffingtonpost.com.
They’re successful – An average of 45 percent of podcast users have managerial/professional occupations. Their opinion is often respected. This is 85 percent higher than the average U.S. adult population’s professions.
Podcasts allow the opportunity to create a greater understanding of the topic due to the volume of information that can be provided. While podcasts don’t have as large of a reach as Instagram or Facebook, their audience suggests quality over quantity. Podcasts listeners are a smaller, more targetable audience who are, most importantly, influential.