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The Podcast Explosion: The Who, What, and Why of Podcasts [Infographic]

by Laura Forer  |  
December 19, 2017

Nearly one-fourth of Americans listen to a podcast at least monthly, according to data cited in an infographic by Concordia University Saint Paul. "With the podcasting boom, audio has maintained solid footing in the world of content—telling great stories and growing a loyal audience along the way," the infographic states.

It goes on to include data that covers why people listen to podcasts, which genres they gravitate toward, and where they're listening, as well as how much marketers are spending to advertise on podcasts:

• Nearly half (48%) of podcast listeners listen to comedy; 40% listen to educational shows; 38%, news; and 27%, sports, according to one study, and the car is the most popular place for people to listen.

• The graphic also breaks down the demographics of podcast listeners: Millennials are the largest age group, comprising 44% of all listeners; 56% of listeners are male; and 57% are college graduates.

• And ad revenue from podcasts has grown from $119 million in 2016 to $220 million this year, according to the infographic.

For more information about podcasts, check out the infographic. Tap or click to see a larger version.

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Laura Forer is a freelance writer, email and content strategist, and crossword puzzle enthusiast. She's an assistant editor at MarketingProfs, where she manages infographic submissions, among other things.

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  • by Peter Altschuler Tue Dec 19, 2017 via web

    At some point in their education, the people who expected to be the next high profile journalist or panel discussion show anchor came to a realization: it's a lot harder than it looks.

    When they discovered that print journalists did multiple interviews with experts and witnesses and insiders, et al., researched in the hidden nooks and crannies of every relevant source, and double/triple-checked facts before extracting the most cogent information and turning it into a coherent article, their enthusiasm waned. Even broadcast involved, as they learned, a lot of legwork, scripting, editing, graphics (on TV and online), and the like. With so much work to do, they decided it was easier to record everything, publish it, and let listeners decide what it all means, right or wrong.

    Thus was born the podcast.

    Granted, it's a very broad catch-all. And I'm sure educational programs have tangible value. But news and politics?

    If podcast producers distilled the content of most productions to their essential information, it would make an interesting five minute read. Instead, listeners have to slog through 30-60 minutes of often disjointed blather to get the basic points.

    That might be OK if you've got nothing better to do while commuting or walking the dog or taking your mind off exercise. I do have more effective ways to fill my time, and I fill it with more information than a podcast allows.

    Granted, there may be wonderful, concise, edited, fill-in-the-blanks commentated "shows" out there, but I've yet to find them. And the stat that the retention rate of audio is twice as high as reading and 4x better than hearing a lecture begs the question, "Among which group?"

    Different people absorb information in different ways. Some are better with reading. Some need visuals mixed in with the text. Some prefer video, some video with sound, and some, obviously, audio only.

    Yet no one's making notes on what they hear in their car or on a jog. Lectures frequently have visuals and handouts to aid in retention (and allow attendees to highlight sections and add their own comments). And entertainment and education have two entirely different objectives (though John Cleese combined the two for years in the training films he created).

    Given a choice between five minutes of key facts, essential concepts, and relevant connections and 15, 30, or 60 minutes of chat, I'm putting on my reading glasses and turning off the sound.

  • by Wed Dec 20, 2017 via mobile

    Great article it was very benefical thanks a lot

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