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Smart Phones are Driving the Growth in Podcasts

Every day sees 400 new podcasts created for podcast directories like Apple Podcasts and Spotify. While podcasts are growing rapidly at a rate of 20% a year, radio alone reaches almost 270 million American listeners each week. 92% of Americans listen to radio at least weekly.


Audio is available on multiple platforms and devices, and it engages millions of listeners. You should be on both radio and podcasts to reach the largest audience.


But why have podcasts grown so much recently? The Nielsen ratings company believes they have an answer and you likely part of the reason. If you are a smart phone listener, you are likely using your smartphone to listen to podcasts.


In a recent webinar hosted by the Nielsen, they reported that the smartphone is the reason podcast listening is growing 20% every year. The ratings firm also predicts that listening could double by 2023. And this growth is attractive to advertisers.

Nielsen says that its data shows that of those considered heavy podcast listeners, 45% of them are listening to podcasts every day.


John Lee Dumas, the Founder and Host of Entrepreneur On Fire, says “There’s millions and millions of people that listen and love podcasts that didn’t in 2012."

John interviews today’s most inspiring and successful Entrepreneurs 7-days a week and has been featured in Forbes, INC, & TIME Magazine.


The number one concern advertisers have about podcasting is measurement. There doesn’t seem to be a lot o f trust in the downloads/ listen technology.


Nielsen believes its new service, the Podcast Listener Buying Power Service, will help fill in the gap between downloads and listens. This will help put podcasting more into the media mainstream.


The company will collect data on a podcast listeners’ consumption habits, like genre preferences and how long they listen to shows. The information will help companies sell ads.


Nielsen’s podcast survey will be conducted with 30,000 people twice a year. As clients pay to join, they can then have their shows included in the next survey batch.


This is an important change, because a lack of listener data has made it challenging to sell ads. Podcasters have had little information on who actually listens to their shows. Most hosting platforms only offer IP addresses, and thereby the locations of where their listeners are based as well as where they heard the show (on an iPhone through Apple Podcasts, for instance).

Spotify has recently started offering demographical data through its internal analytics dashboard.


Spotify is in a powerful spot when it comes to selling ads, solely because it can attribute episode listens back to specific users.

Those users identify their gender, age, location, language preference, and listen to all their music on the platform, so Spotify knows a bit more about them than other networks whose listeners are spread across various platforms.

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