Time spent with podcasts will decrease after years of strong growth, but should rebound by 2022

US adult listeners will spend an average of about 34 minutes a
day on podcasts, according to our latest estimates. Time spent is 2
minutes less than last year due to the pandemic’s impact on
listening behavior, but it should return to pre-contraction levels
by 2022.

Average time spent by listeners in the US

In the weeks following shelter-in-place orders, the dip in
listening was most severe, though listens and downloads have
rebounded a bit since then. This will be the first recorded
contraction since we began tracking US podcast listener time in
2015.

Despite the dip this year, time spent will return to steady
growth in the coming years, verging on one-fifth of total time
spent with digital audio.Streaming platforms continue to invest in
podcasts while publishers diversify content offerings, which will
increase engagement among podcast listeners. For example,
Spotify announced it
now has more than 1 million shows in its podcast catalog and hopes
to expand its audience by experimenting with
new formats, like video podcasts featuring YouTube creators. 

Through podcasts, brands can reach a highly engaged audience of
digital audio listeners. We estimate that podcast listening time
will make up 17.0% of total time spent with digital audio in the US
this year and 18.9% by the end of our forecast period in 2022.

While a large portion of digital audio listeners subscribe to
ad-free platforms like Apple Music and Spotify Premium, podcasts
often include host-read ads, which has an added value given the
influence many hosts have with their audience. Podcast listeners
often consume a high volume of content, which opens up more audio
advertising to listeners on ad-supported platforms. A survey
conducted by Westwood One in October 2019 — cited by
eMarketer — found that 36% of podcast listeners consumed 6 or
more hours of podcast content per week.

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Source: FS – All – Entertainment – News
Time spent with podcasts will decrease after years of strong
growth, but should rebound by 2022