In Just Four Years, Podcasting’s Share Of Ear Has Doubled

The share of audio time Americans spend with podcasts has doubled during the past four years, according to a sneak peek of first quarter 2018 Share of Ear data released on April 19, 2018 by Edison Research.

While ramping up quickly, podcasts make up 4% of the time Americans 13+ spend with audio, up from 2% in 2014.

Among regular podcast listeners, podcasts jump to the top of the list, commanding a 33% “share of ear” for those who have listened to one within the past 24 hours. “Podcasts are the No. 1 source of audio for podcast listeners,” Edison senior VP Tom Webster said during “The Podcast Consumer” webinar Thursday afternoon.


“If you are a podcast consumer, you spent 33% of your audio time listening to podcasts.”


For these podcasts enthusiasts,

  • AM/FM radio is second (25%)
  • owned music (15%)
  • streaming audio (14%).


Looking at just the time spent listening to audio sources on a smartphone, Edison found podcasts third behind

  • steaming audio (39%)
  • owned music (33%).
  • podcasts (11%)


But podcast’s share of ear rises to 52% when drilling down into the narrow subset of the share of time spent listening to audio sources on a smartphone among those who listen to podcasts.


In other words, podcast listeners gravitate to podcasts more then they do streaming audio or owned music!


It’s noteworthy that podcasting doubled its share of ear while the number of hours spent with audio remained largely the same at four hours a day during the past four years, Webster observed.

“Not only is there user growth but there’s also growth in the numbers of podcasts we’re listening to and the amount of time we’re spending listening to them,” Webster said. “All of that has added up to what is really a significant shift in our share of ear data.”

AM/FM radio remains the dominant platform, accounting for half the time Americans spend listening to audio sources.

The new research includes info collected from 5,000 one-day audio diaries completed through Q1 2018.

Edison and Triton Digital’s 2018 Infinite Dial study, released earlier, found an estimated 48 million Americans are weekly podcast listeners.

About the author: Brett Johnson

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