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Podcast listeners have gone from three-quarters white to reflective of US population

A decade ago, podcast listeners were almost three-quarters white. Today, says a new report, the audience for podcasts is almost as ethnically diverse as the US population …

Back in 2008, the podcast audience was 73% white, despite white people making up only 58% of the US population. But the latest research from Edison shows that there is an almost perfect match for white, African-American and other ethnicities.

Podcast listening is still lower among the Hispanic/Latino and Asian groups, though the gap here has also closed significantly over the years.

podcast audience

Interestingly, despite podcasts now being an everyday term for most, an amazing 36% of the US population described itself as unfamiliar with the term ‘podcasting.’ Around 44% of the population has ever listened to a podcast, while 26% have listened to one in the last month.

Unsurprisingly, the more educated you are, the more likely you are to listen to podcasts. Those with a high school education or less are least likely to listen, while those with a grad school education or advanced degree make up just 23% of the population but 36% of podcast listeners.

Much of the report looks specifically at women, who are a little less likely than men to listen. Among the reasons given by women for not listening, 31% say they don’t really know what podcasts are and a further 7% aren’t sure how to listen to one. Two-thirds of non-listeners report the opposite problem: there are so many podcasts available, they don’t know where to start.

TNW notes that an earlier report suggests there are around 48M US weekly podcast listeners, and suggests that making content available with broader appeal may be key to hitting a target of 100M listeners.

Apple recently saw its podcast charts manipulated by click farms.

Check out our own podcasts here.

Photo: Shutterstock

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Avatar for Ben Lovejoy Ben Lovejoy

Ben Lovejoy is a British technology writer and EU Editor for 9to5Mac. He’s known for his op-eds and diary pieces, exploring his experience of Apple products over time, for a more rounded review. He also writes fiction, with two technothriller novels, a couple of SF shorts and a rom-com!

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