Podcast listening grows; consumer ‘discovery’ is key challenge

Edison Research’s 2017 Infinite Dial survey (slide deck below) provides a snapshot of the consumer market for many uses of audio, including podcasts. About 24% of American listeners over the age of 12 have listened to a podcast in the past month, the survey reports, and listening is most prevalent in the 25-54 age group. Underscoring the challenge of “discovery” for podcasters, Edison notes that the average podcast listener subscribes to just 6 podcasts out of the 300,000+ available.

Podtrac releases first U.S. podcast audience rankings

With its new monthly ranking report, podcast vendor Podtrac has stepped up to address a critical need in the podcast industry.

The report, which uses Podtrac’s proprietary data, ranks podcast publishers based on monthly “unique U.S. audience.” That metric is defined as

the count of individual audience members who listen to shows published by a given publisher. Individuals may listen to multiple shows or multiple episodes of shows from a publisher in a month, but they are only counted once in the monthly Unique Audience metric.

Not surprisingly, NPR tops the April 2016 ranking with nearly 62 million downloads for 32 active shows, and a unique U.S. audience of 7.2 million. Two shows made the top 10 without the help of other network siblings — The Moth and Roman Mars’ 99% Invisible.

See the top 10 ranking by network here.

Podcasts, streaming music enabled in 2016 auto dashboards

Podcasts and streaming audio gain prominence on in-dash displays of connected cars from GM, Ford, Chrysler, Audi and Toyota “while AM/FM may be 3 or 4 clicks away,” notes Steven Goldstein in a blog post from CES. Apple CarPlay, Android Auto and custom systems from auto-makers are all battling for the connected driver who likely brings his/her own entertainment to the car via smartphone.