Podcast listening growth continues: Mobile app usage up 60% since January 2018, study finds


Podcast mobile app usage has risen 60% since January 2018, and the sector’s growth is expected to continue as 45% of listeners said they plan on tuning into more podcasts in the future, according to a study conducted by Adobe Analytics.

Discovery and growth. The study, which combined survey information from 1,008 U.S. respondents and Comscore data comprised of 193 million monthly unique visitors to U.S. mobile apps (between January 2018 and May 2019), found that 41% of podcast discovery occurs through online sources such as blogs and articles.

The report also stated that 25% of current podcast listeners began listening to podcasts for the first time within the past six months. Nearly three-quarters (72%) of respondents perceive podcast quality to be on the rise, with just 6% under the impression that quality is decreasing.

Who, where, what. One-third of millennials said they listen to five or more podcasts per week, accounting for the largest demographic of listeners. Slightly more than half (52%) of respondents said they tune into podcasts while working or commuting and 42% said they listen in the car. 

The four most popular genres were found to be comedy, educational, history and true crime/documentary. Video game and discussion panel podcasts were among the least popular categories.

Ad effectiveness. The majority (60%) of listeners surveyed said they looked up a service or product after hearing it advertised on a podcast, and 25% reported that they ended up making the purchase.

The report also found that, of the 72% of listeners who had heard a podcast ad, 33% said podcast ads are more engaging than ads on other formats, and 40% found the ads less intrusive that other types of ads.

On the flip side, 58% of respondents said they skipped podcast ads.

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Why we should care. The podcast sector’s momentum increases the viability of podcast advertising to reach a growing audience. And, with more data available from platforms like Spotify or third parties such as Nielsen, advertisers have more targeting capabilities to help them get closer to the listeners that are most likely to be interested in their products or services.


About The Author

George Nguyen is an Associate Editor at Third Door Media. His background is in content marketing, journalism, and storytelling.



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