THE PODCAST CONSUMER 2018: Podcast listening continuing to soar

The subheading to this blog could be recycled for another 10 years! Podcasting continues to grow, whereas the same can’t be said for the consumption of social media (down 4% since last year) or audiobooks (plateaued).

For the first time ever, more people listen to podcasts than those who use Twitter.

We know how engaging podcasting is; and, as the quality improves and becomes more professional, more and more people are discovering this nascent medium.

Edison Research and Triton Digital have released their The Podcast Consumer 2018, called The Podcast Consumer 2018. A lot of the stats come from The Infinite Dial 2018 – research on the overall audio consumption habits of Americans, which we covered on another post.

In this survey podcast-specific survey, 2000 people (13 years old and over) were interviewed in early 2018 to provide a snapshot of Americans’ podcast consumption habits.



64% of the population is familiar with the term ‘podcasting’; up from 49% in 2015. Any wonder, with the number of new podcasts presented and created by thought leaders, celebrities, traditional media and commercial organisations, that awareness has grown significantly in 3 years.


44% have ever listened to a podcast. This is equal or more than those who have ever consumed an audiobook.

26% (or 73 million) of the population listen to podcasts on a monthly basis. That’s up from 17% since 2015.

Weekly podcast listeners is 48 million or 17% of the American population; 2017 15%; 2016 13%; 2015 10%

Those who listen to a podcast average 7 podcasts in the last week.


Interestingly, smartphones are increasingly becoming a choice of audio entertainment. It’s obvious smartphones have a powerful edge over other devices for podcast consumption.

40pc listen audio on smartphone 1


  • 18% of Americans own a smart speaker – up from 7% in 2017
  • 83% of whom own an Amazon Alexa vs 28% of whom own Google Home. (11% of smart speaker owners have both)
  • 33% own more than one


The places in which podcast listening is done most often, are:

  • 49% at home
  • 22% in a car or truck (increased from 18% the previous year)
  • 11% at work
  • 4% riding public transport
  • 4% working out
  • 3% walking around


80% of podcasts episodes are typically listened to either in their entirety or ‘most of the podcast’

Only 19% of listeners ever increase the speed of their podcasts to listen to them faster.