Gen Z Discover Podcasts Through Social Media; Take Action Because of Ads

Press Release · Somerville, NJ 08876, USA · · Updated

Gen Z monthly podcast listeners in the U.S. got an early start in listening to podcasts, are likely to discover podcasts through social media, and take action because of podcast ads.

These and other findings from the Gen Z Podcast Listener Report from Edison Research with partner SXM Media were presented today by Edison Research Manager of Research Salma Aly, and SXM Media Vice President of Sales Research Melissa Paris.

Forty-seven percent of the Gen Z (age 13-24) online population in the U.S. are monthly podcast listeners, an estimated 24 million Americans.

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Podcast listening has grown among those age 13-24: In 2018, 30% of those age 13-24 had listened to a podcast in the last month. Today, 47% of those age 13-24 have listened to a podcast in the last month (24 million Americans), a 57% increase.

Gen Z got an early start with podcasts: 16% of Gen Z monthly podcast listeners started listening as a child, 57% started listening as a teenager and 25% started listening as an adult. This means 73% of Gen Z monthly podcast listeners began listening before the age of 18.

Those who began listening earlier in life, listen longer: Gen Z monthly podcast listeners who started listening as a child consume 10.6 hours of podcasts per week; those who started as a teenager consume 7.5 hours per week, and those who started as an adult consume 6.6 hours of podcasts per week. The average for all Gen Z monthly podcast listeners is 7.7 hours per week.

Gen Z discovers podcasts through social media: 25% of Gen Z monthly podcast listeners say they first discovered podcasts on social media, and another 19% say they first heard about podcasts from a social media influencer or personality that they follow. Seventy-six percent say they discover podcasts through clips on social media.

Gen Z act as a result of podcast ads: 82% of Gen Z monthly podcast listeners have taken any action as a result of hearing a podcast advertisement; 70% have either purchased or wanted to purchase the product or service they heard advertised, 61% have visited a company or product website, 44% have used a promo code or discount code mentioned in the podcast, and 42% have recommended a product to a friend or family member.

“As a Gen Z podcast listener myself, it is exciting to present new data about consumers who have grown up with the medium. My generation is constantly learning and likes to take action, so podcasts are a perfect fit for us,” said Salma Aly, Director of Research at Edison Research.

“This report offers many fresh insights into how to engage with younger listeners – for content creators and marketers alike. We hope these findings will encourage brands to put a greater emphasis on podcasts when they’re looking to connect with Gen Z, knowing how impactful podcast ads can be,” said Melissa Paris, Vice President at SXM Media.

Gen Z podcast listeners listen frequently: 75% of Gen Z monthly podcast listeners have listened to a podcast in the last week; 28% of Gen Z Monthly podcast listeners listen to podcasts nearly every day.

Gen Zers like to binge listen: 78% of Gen Z monthly podcast listeners often binge podcasts, that is, they listen to multiple episodes of a podcast show in a single listening session.

Gen Z podcast listeners are demographically diverse: Twenty percent of Gen Z monthly podcast listeners identify as Hispanic or Latino,15% as Black or African American, and 4% identify as Asian. In 2018, 13-24-year-old monthly podcast listeners were composed of 58% male and 42% female listeners. Today, 13-24-year-old monthly podcast listeners are composed of 53% male, 46% female, and one percent non-binary listeners.

Seventeen percent of Gen Z monthly podcast listeners identify as gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender.

Gen Z consume podcasts with video: 84% of Gen Z monthly podcast listeners have ever consumed a podcast with a video component. Seventy-one percent ever consume podcasts with video that they actively watch while listening. Among those who actively watch while listening, 49% say that the video element gives better understanding of context and tone through things like facial expressions and gestures, and 45% say they feel more connected to the podcaster(s) through video podcasts.

Other key findings include:

  • 44% of Gen Z monthly podcast listeners consider themselves content creators
  • Gen Z Monthly podcast listeners listen to an average of 6.8 different podcast topics
  • Comedy, entertainment/celebrity, and true crime are top three podcast genres listened to by the most Gen Z monthly podcast listeners

About the study: Gen Z respondents are considered to be individuals age 13 to 24. In April of 2023, 1,003 online interviews were conducted with Gen Z respondents in the U.S. Twelve in-depth remote video interviews were conducted, and two in-person interviews were conducted at the homes of participants. All survey participants reported listening to a podcast in the last month and the data was weighted to population statistics from the U.S. Census and The Infinite Dial 2023 from Edison Research, Amazon Music, Wondery, and ART19.

This is a press release which we link to from Podnews, our daily newsletter about podcasting and on-demand. We may make small edits for editorial reasons.

Companies mentioned above:
Amazon logoAmazonAmazon Music logoAmazon MusicART19 logoART19Edison Research logoEdison ResearchWondery logoWondery

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