17. Men and women listen to podcasts equally.
Looking at the gender breakdown of monthly podcast listeners in the US, women and men are almost equally distributed. Namely, 51% of listeners are male, while 49% are female.
As for the entire US population, 39% of all men and 36% of all women listened to podcasts at least once a month in 2020, podcast statistics show. Compared to 2019, this is an increase of 3 percentage points among US males and 7 percentage points among females.
18. Almost half of all US podcast listeners are aged 12–34.
Young people between the ages of 12 and 34 make up 48% of all monthly US podcast listeners. Podcast download statistics by age reveal that listeners in the 35–54 bracket account for 32% of the audience, while those aged 55 and over make up the remaining 20% of the listenership.
19. An overwhelming majority of podcast listeners are white.
According to ethnicity-focused podcast research from 2020, 63% of all US podcast listeners are white. Blacks and Hispanics each hold an 11% share of the total audience, Asian Americans make up 5%, and other ethnic groups combined make up the remaining 9% of US listeners.
20. 80% of US podcast listeners are at least college-educated.
The US podcast listenership is very highly educated, statistics show.
While 27% have graduated from college, 25% have a bachelor’s degree, and an impressive 28% have completed grad school or obtained some other advanced degree. Listeners with high school education or less make up the remaining 20% of the monthly audience.
21. Most podcast listeners are employed and have above-average annual income.
More than two-thirds (68%) of podcast listeners are employed — 51% have full-time jobs, and 17% are part-time employees. Their annual household income is above-average, but it varies.
According to demographic podcast stats, 41% of US listeners earn more than $75,000 a year. Of this number, 12% have an income in the $75,000–$100,000 range, 17% earn between $100,000 and $150,000, while 12% make more than $150,000 a year.
22. 74% of Americans listen to podcasts to learn something new.
The quest for knowledge is the main reason why Americans listen to podcasts, while 71% see them as a form of entertainment. Additionally, 60% regularly listen to podcasts to stay updated on all the latest news. With this in mind, it’s no surprise news-oriented shows discussing current affairs and major news stories dominated the list of the most successful podcasts in 2020.
23. 22% of US adults rely on podcasts as a news source.
(Pew Research Center)
When asked about their preferred news sources, 22% of Americans said they get the latest information from podcasts. While 16% only do this sometimes, 6% do so regularly.
News podcast statistics show that 12% of people aged 18–29 listen to podcasts for news. The percentage is lower but by no means insignificant in other age groups — 8% of Americans in the 30–49, 4% in the 50–64, and 3% in the over-65 bracket get their information from podcasts.
24. More than half of all US millennials get their news from podcasts.
Millennials are the biggest podcast listeners in the US, and 55% of them admit to learning about the latest events from their favorite shows.
Of this number, 8% get their news from podcasts daily, 10% do it a few times a week, and 8% do so weekly. Another 8% listen to podcasts for information a few times a month, 10% do so once a month, and the remaining 11% do it seldom — i.e., less than once a month.
25. 90% of Americans listen to podcasts at home.
The majority of US podcast audiences prefer listening to their favorite shows at home.
Further podcast research of the audience’s listening habits found that 64% also listen to shows in their car, 49% do so while hiking or jogging, 43% when working out, and 37% while riding public transport. Interestingly, 37% said they sometimes listen to podcasts at work.
26. Almost half of US podcast audiences don’t listen to entire episodes.
While 41% of podcast fans say they listen to most of any given episode, 5% say they listen to about half of it, and 2% only listen to the first few minutes. On the other hand, 51% of the US audiences say they always listen to podcast episodes in their entirety.
27. Speeding up shows is popular with 26% of podcast listeners, statistics show.
With so much content available, frequent listeners are trying to cram in as many podcasts as possible in a single day. To achieve this, 26% of them listen to episodes at increased speed to finish them faster. Just 19% of listeners did this in 2018, indicating that this is a growing trend.
28. Individual podcast episodes have gotten shorter over the years.
Recent research shows that the average podcast length currently hovers around 40 minutes, and the median length is just over 36 minutes per episode. The averages also vary based on category. For example, the average length of a show covering daily news is around 10 minutes, while an average comedy show releases 50-minute-long episodes.
Of course, many podcasts release much longer episodes. The best example is The Joe Rogan Experience, one of the most popular podcasts worldwide. Covering topics ranging from current affairs and celebrity culture to mixed martial arts and conspiracy theories, the show’s episodes run anywhere from two to four hours — and sometimes even longer.