Podcast audiences look increasingly like America

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New data shared by Edison Research and Triton Digital shows that the audience for podcasts has become more ethnically diverse in the past five years.

Based on results from their 2016 Infinite Dial study, which surveyed by phone 2,001 people 12 years of age and older, the share of African-American podcast listeners had increased 2 percent compared to the 2011 Infinite Dial study, from 14 percent to 16 percent. Hispanic listeners increased from 11 percent to 12 percent; Asian listeners increased from 3 percent to 4 percent; and the “other” category increased from 4 percent to 5 percent. In 2016, 21 percent of survey respondents had listened to a podcast within the last month.

Image courtesy of Edison Research and Triton Digital.

Image courtesy of Edison Research and Triton Digital.


Tom Webster, v.p. of strategy at Edison Research, pointed out in a post on Edison’s site that “the percentage of African-American listeners has not only grown, but also over-indexes from the U.S. Population.” African-Americans make up about 12 percent of the population, according to 2010 Census Bureau data.

The increase in the ethnic diversity of podcast listeners is due in part to the “increasing diversity of [podcast] content available,” Webster wrote.

The overall podcast audience in the Edison/Triton sample is also more ethnically diverse than NPR’s radio audience, which is 8 percent Latino and 7 percent black with the “vast majority” of the rest white, according to a post by NPR’s ombudsman last year.