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Online Audio, Podcast Listening Bounce Back in 2023

The findings are good news for pro-audio manufacturers and studios, both of which are parts of the audio content supply chain.

Podcast listening bounces back
New York, NY (March 3, 2023)—After a decrease in listenership last year, raising concerns that the format was a fad, podcast listening has bounced back and reached a record high, according to Edison Research’s newly released annual report, The Infinite Dial 2023. Additionally, listening to all forms of online audio has also reached new heights as well. These findings are important for the pro-audio and studio sectors, both of which are significant parts of the content supply chain for radio, streaming services and podcast networks.

While podcasting surged in popularity over the last 10 years, it was during the peak of social-distancing lockdowns in 2020 that the audio format truly exploded, reaching new heights as Americans with too much time on their hands hungered for entertainment and conversation—and found a bit of both in podcasts. That avid listening, however, fell off as COVID restrictions lifted.

However, the new 2023 report finds that monthly and weekly podcast listening have bounced back in a big way. A full 42% of Americans 12+ have listened to one in the last month—a new all-time high and up from 38% last year, and 31% of Americans 12+ have listened to a podcast in the last week, up 26% year-over-year.


Who’s listening? Well, the majority of Americans ages 12-54 (53%) have listened to a podcast in the last month, and 39% percent of Americans ages 12-54 have listened to a podcast in the last week. Not everyone is enamored with the audio format, however; podcast listening is still stagnant among those 55+, with only 21% of Americans in that age group listening to a podcast in the last month, and only 14% in the last week.

Not only are people listening more often, however, but they’re also listening to more podcasts, period. Weekly podcast listeners heard an average of nine podcast episodes in the last week, up from eight episodes in 2022. The post-COVID return to commuting comes into play when it comes to podcast listening—38% of U.S. adults age 18+ who have ridden in a car in the last month say they listen to podcasts in the car, up from 32% last year.

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Edison Research vice president Megan Lazovick noted with the report’s debut that “After two previous annual studies that showed clear effects from the COVID-19 disruptions, the trends in audio and social media habits seem to be back on pattern.”

The full study can be downloaded for free.