Editorial: Podcast Listenership Is Growing Because of Google

Seth Resler
Seth Resler

By: Seth Resler
Jacobs Media Strategies

As we’ve noted, the results of Techsurvey12 show that podcast consumption is rising. This year, 28% of respondents reported that they had listened to a podcast or on-demand audio in the past month, up from 21% the year before. (Watch Fred Jacobs’ webinar on Key Takeaways from Techsurvey12 here.)

Blubrry, one of the major podcast hosting services, has released new data, based on its clients, showing how podcasts are being consumed. They found that approximately two-thirds of all podcast consumption is happening on Apple iOS devices. This echoes similar findings from rival podcast hosting service Libsyn.
Reslar-Client-By-Platform-2

65.9% of podcast listening comes from the Apple ecosphere

This isn’t surprising. Apple devices come with a pre-installed Podcasts app. Until Google debuted a podcast directory in Google Play Music earlier this year, Android devices did not. Even now, Apple gives podcasts their own dedicated app — this was separated out from iTunes with iOS 6 in 2012 — while Android does not. As a result, Blubrry found that Apple’s Podcasts app produces far and away the highest percentage of podcast listening on mobile apps (20%):
Reslar-Stats-Blog-Post-_Mobile-Applications

Apple’s Podcasts App accounts for 20.2% of all podcast
listening on mobile apps

However, podcast consumption on Android devices is increasing, which may account for a large part of the overall increase in podcast consumption. Blubrry notes:

“While global listener volume is continuing to increase across all platforms, it is very apparent to our month-to-month and year-to-year data that Android is making significant gains in the global podcast ecosphere. For the first time in many years, we are seeing a significant increase in Android consumption…”

(Blubrry has been actively seeking to increase podcast listening on Android devices by developing a way to make it just as easy to subscribe to a podcast on your Android phone as it is to subscribe on an iPhone.)

Many people, myself included, have believed that a truly significant increase in podcast listening would be driven not just by compelling programs such as Serial(though they certainly help), but by Google’s embrace of the podcasting medium. Blubrry’s research suggests that this may finally be starting to happen.

To make a long story short: Now would be an excellent time for your station to start podcasting.

Recently, I hosted a webinar titled, “How to Launch a Podcast: An Introduction for Radio Station.”  Watch webinar recording here.

If you are already producing a podcast, be sure to submit it to Google Play Music’s podcast directory.

PODCAST-MOVEMENT-43-PNG-e1443537146912-150x150I also recommend sending a member of your station’s staff to the Podcast Movement conference in Chicago this July. This is the largest gathering of podcasters in North America with over 2,000 attendees expected this year.I will moderate a panel discussion with on-air personality Tom Leykis, talent coach and author Valerie Geller, Rob Greenlee (Head of Content at Spreaker), and Doug Berman (executive producer of NPR’s Car Talk and Wait Wait…Don’t Tell Me!). My session is called, “Podcast Makeover: A Live Critique Session with Broadcasting Legends.”

We have arranged a special discount to the conference for Jacobs Media clients.  Please email me for details.

Editor’s Note: The views and opinions of the above article do not necessarily reflect those of the MAB. Contact the MAB for information on the MAB’s official editorial policy.

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