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New UK Podcast Listener Statistics - Winter 2018

RAJAR have just released their UK Winter 2018 Audio Survey, and as ever it makes for interesting reading. Direct data on individual podcast listening habits is still a bit thin (and inconsistent), so any insight into how people engage with their favourite podcasts is very welcome.

The most relevant findings relating to podcasts in the report are summarised below.

  • 6.5 million adults (12% of the population) listen to a podcast in an average week.

  • The majority of listening (67%) is done via a smartphone, with only 1% done on a smart speaker.

  • 25-34 year-olds still dominate the audience (21% of this demographic listen), as do males (63%).

  • Most of the listening is done whilst driving/travelling or working/studying.

  • A huge 90% of listening is done alone.

  • Once an episode starts being listened to, 67% of the time it is consumed in its entirety.

  • Peak time for podcast listening is at around 8am, with another high point at 6pm.

Where do we see room for growth? Two of the most startling figures to come out of the report are that 90% of listening is done alone, and only 1% through the use of a smart speaker. It is not that surprising once you take into account that most listening happens while driving or studying, both usually solitary activities, while smart speakers are still far from perfect when it comes to finding podcasts to listen to, but we do see an opportunity for change here.

Podcast content is continuously changing form and shape. 2018 saw a large increase in the amount of ‘daily’ style podcasts, much shorter in length than has traditionally been associated with podcasts. Another possible area which podcasts could be primed to enter is that of collective listening. Examples of this could be quiz-style family shows, puzzle games or other such interactive listening experiences which more effectively utilise the capabilities of smart speakers in conjunction with podcasts. The technology isn’t quite there yet, but it won’t be long.

All the data presented above is courtesy of RAJAR/IpsosMori. The full report can be found here:

Dom Kay