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Podcasting: Who’s Listening?

As Edison Media Research reported in March, podcasting has experienced 18% growth year-over-year. This is good news for podcasters and those thinking about joining the medium. comScore published findings this week on the iTunes podcast audience and compared their stats with their numbers on the general Internet population.

Perhaps comScore’s most interesting finding, is the fact that, while the 18-25 year old set naturally dominated (29%), the 35-44 year old and 45-54 year old groups weren’t too far behind, with 27% and 23% of the audience respectively.

It might be important to note that there are (at least) two audiences here. Unless I’m doing something wrong, I don’t think that most 18-24 year olds are making over $75k (although they may still be living in their parents’ houses and counting their parents’ incomes). So you have the 35-54 year olds, who are educated and making decent money as an entirely separate—and larger—demographic than the traditional “youth” set we associate with podcasting.

comScore has the rest of the actual numbers; I made you some pretty graphs.

podcasting gender demographics
While Edison Media Research reported in March that 51% of the podcast audience was male, comScore found that almost two-thirds of podcast listeners are male.

podcasting age demographics
Edison Media Research reported that “The survey found more listeners 55+ than in the 18-24 age group.” comScore, on the other hand, found that only 7% of the podcast audience was over 55 (29% were 18-24).

podcasting income demographics
Edison Media Research: “Podcast users are twice as likely to have incomes over 100K and nearly twice as likely to have incomes between 75K and 100K.” comScore found $75k-100k listeners to compose 19% of the podcast audience (versus 17% of Internet users) and $100k+ listeners to compose 31% of the podcast audience (versus 24% of Internet users). Together, that’s half of the podcast audience (versus 41% of the Internet audience).

podcasting education demographics
Edison Media Research’s finding: “Twice as many podcast users have advanced degrees as others.” comScore didn’t differentiate between bachelor’s and advanced degrees, but almost half of the podcast audience had at least completed their undergraduate studies.

I’m surprised at how different Edison’s and comScore’s findings are. Any guesses on why? Do you think that focusing on the iTunes audience handicapped comScore’s findings, or relying on Arbitron diarykeepers skewed Edison’s research?

Of course, we couldn’t talk about podcasting without one little plug. We hope you’re enjoying the Marketing Pilgrim podcast!