Growing and Changing: The Evolution of the Podcast Audience

The size of the podcast listening audience in the US has increased in 2021 after flattening in the second half of 2020, with growth driven by lighter listeners and at-home listeners, according to recent research from Nielsen.

The report was based on data from a Nielsen survey conducted in May 2021 among adults age 18 and older in the United States.

Some 49% of the podcast audience in the US is now made up of lighter listeners (people who listen to podcasts between one and three times a month, on average), up from 39% in August 2018.

How lighter podcast listeners drive growth graph

Half of podcast listening in the US now happens at home, up from 40% in August 2018.

Podcast growth resumes thanks to home listening

Podcast listening growth is occurring across all age groups, the researchers found.

Some 20% of podcast listeners in the US are now age 55+, up from 16% in August 2018.

Podcast growth across all ages

Comedy is the most popular podcast genre across almost all age groups, as well as among both men and women.

Top podcast genres by age group

About the research: The report was based on data from a Nielsen survey conducted in May 2021 among adults age 18 and older in the United States.

Author: Mark