Around 1 in 6 US Adult Podcast Users Have Paid to Listen to a Podcast

July 7, 2020

YouGov Paying for Podcasts Jul2020Of the 50% of US adults who listen to podcasts, around 1 in 6 (17%) have paid to listen to one, while a majority are open to a mix of free and paid podcast models. These are some of the findings presented by new data from YouGov exploring the finer points of podcast consumption, including how listening habits differ by gender, age, region and race.

Podcasts are an increasingly popular form of content creation and consumption, with previous data from Nielsen showing that the percentage of adults who listen to podcasts daily grew by 3.6 million in 2019. Though half of the respondents to YouGov’s June 2020 poll do not listen to podcasts, some 37% listen to them once a month or more.

While the typical model for podcasts is free and ad-supported — a feature that is also key in attracting listeners to AM/FM radio — the data indicates some openness to paid models. Among listeners that have never paid to listen to a podcast, 1 in 5 state they are somewhat or very likely to do so in the next 12 months. Those who have already paid or donated money for a podcast typically come from younger age groups, with listeners ages 18-34 (20%) and 35-54 (20%) more likely to have done so than those 55+ (8%).

Male listeners are also almost twice as likely to have paid for a podcast (21%) than female listeners (12%), and slightly more Black American listeners have paid or donated to listen (22%) than those who are Hispanic (18%) or White (15%).

Most listeners who have not paid to listen to a podcast do appear to be set in their ways, though. Some 8 in 10 in this group said they are not very likely (41%) or not at all likely (39%) to pay to access a podcast in the next 12 months.

This doesn’t mean that the same proportion object entirely to such monetization. Among all podcast users, the majority (62%) think that it’s fine for there to be a mix of free, ad-supported podcasts and paid, ad-free podcasts, while 3 in 10 think that all podcasts should be available for free. As such, it’s likely that the trend for more advertisers to consider podcast advertising will continue.

Read more here.

About the Data: Findings are based on an online survey of 2,645 US adults, fielded in June 2020.

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