Here’s why Talk Radio needs to embrace podcasting. | Daily News Podcast


The radio signal may be sufficient for news and talk radio stations to thrive today, but future success may be more dependent on podcasts airing based on new data. Edison Research reports that its latest ear share data shows that among 13 to 24 year olds, more than a third (35%) of their spoken audio listening time is spent on podcasts. This compares to 16% for AM/FM radio.

“Podcasts are more than double the time for 13 to 24 year olds in terms of spoken audio. This is real game-changing,” said Edison Senior Vice President Tom Webster. “It’s very clear that podcasting has really become the most important source of spoken audio, at least among young people,” he said during a webinar on Wednesday.

Teenagers and young adults are not the primary audience for news and talk radio. Still, the impact of a shift from live radio to on-demand audio listening has implications for advertisers, according to Marshall Williams, CEO of radio advertising and podcast agency Ad Results Media. He thinks the “chasm” will only get bigger with time.

“I think what you’re seeing is pivotal in how a generational group consumes information, entertainment and news,” Williams said. “My assessment is that this is a generational shift from traditional audio means, and particularly in the context of speech and talk radio per se, to podcasting. This is a group demographic of individuals who have used their mobile device for all their informational needs and will continue to do so. I believe it will continue to grow and the younger demographic is critically important for brands trying to building brand loyalty and affinity with that younger demographic so that as they get older they continue to be consumers of that product.That’s very promising for podcasting.

Edison’s ongoing Share of Ear survey includes respondents aged 13+, online and offline and offered in English and Spanish. This is a four-quarter rolling survey, with the sample for the latest Q4 report being collected in each quarter of 2021.

Regardless of how it is accessed, a renaissance of speech is underway. Edison Research released the annual Spoken Word Audio report in November. Due to the surge in young and multicultural audiences, the report found that audio listening share of spoken words jumped 8% in 2021 and increased 40% over the past seven years. Data showed that there are 22 million more people listening to spoken music today than seven years ago.

The data has shown that the share of speech in audio listening keeps growing, as it gobbles up an ever-increasing share of the total audio pie. While almost three out of four hours of audio time (72%) is devoted to music, 28% is now devoted to spoken word, up from 20% just seven years ago.

The report, which Edison produced with NPR, also found that spoken audio is ubiquitous. Three-quarters of the US population said they had listened to it in the past month, and 45% listened to it daily, up from 43% in 2020.


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