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New Research from Hub: Podcasts Can Pay Off for Telecasts

Press Release · Boston, MA, USA · via Hub Entertainment Research ·

Hub Entertainment Research’s new report, “Can You Hear Me Now?,” reveals podcasts can be a valuable addition to the marketing tools used by traditional TV networks or streaming video services.

Podcasts can drive sampling: Among listeners of all types of podcasts, half (50%) say they would be more interested in watching a new TV show based on one of their favorite podcasts. And about half (47%) say their listening to podcasts had helped them discover a new TV show in the past.

This proportion is even higher among young adults, generally the most valuable audience with which to create engagement – 59% of 16-74s would be more interested in a show based on a podcast, while 57% have ever discovered a TV show via a podcast.

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TV-related podcasts reach a substantial share of viewers. One in three (32%) people 16-74 report listening to an official TV show-related podcast, a fan-produced podcast about a TV show, or a podcast featuring actors or the creative team of a TV show.

Again, these proportions are even higher among young adults. Half (50%) of those age 16-34 listen to a TV-related podcast, compared with 32% of those age 35-54 or 10% of those 55+.

Podcasts maintain engagement. Among those who listen to TV-related podcasts about current series, almost all (92%) agree that podcasts help maintain their interest in that series between seasons – of which a substantial proportion (39%) “agree strongly.”

Among listeners to TV-related podcasts about older, out-of-production TV shows, a similarly high percentage (85%) agree a podcast can prompt them to search out and rewatch an older series.

The importance of audio. Aside from podcasts, the report discusses other types of audio services, such as streaming music and audiobooks, as well as the ownership and use of various audio devices. For instance, 3 in 4 (76%) of Americans 16-74 report owning a set of earbuds, and nearly as many (60%) report owning a set of over-the-ear headphones. Together, 85% of people 16-74 own earbuds or headphones – or both. Half (49%) of 16-74s say they own a Bluetooth speaker of some type (excluding smart speakers); slightly fewer (40%) report owning a smart speaker. For all these listening devices – whether for personal use in your ear, or with a speaker in a room – listening to music is by far the dominant type of use. There is some usage for listening to TV, but it is far less common than for music.

“In the current world of short seasons of 8 to 10 episodes, podcasts – whether official or fan-created – can provide a valuable means for TV series to maintain viewer interest,” said David Tice, senior consultant to Hub and co-author of the study. “This is particularly important when so much content is available to a viewer, a favorite series 10 months ago could become a forgotten one by today.”

These findings are from Hub’s “Can You Hear Me Now?” report, based on a survey conducted among 2,501 US consumers. Interviews were conducted in November 2023 and cover what audio devices people own (earbuds, headphones, speakers, etc.) and how they are used. In addition to devices, the report covers what audio services are used (streaming music, podcasts, audiobooks, as well as traditional and satellite radio). A free excerpt of the findings is available on Hub’s website. This report is part of Hub’s Entertainment + Technology Tracker syndicated report series.

Celebrating its tenth anniversary, Hub Entertainment Research tracks how technology is changing the way people find, choose, and consume entertainment content: from TV and movies, to gaming, music, podcasts and social video. Our studies have covered the most important trends in providers, devices, and technologies since 2013.

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.

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