December 27, 2013

Over a quarter of internet users download or listen to podcasts

FT_Podcast_UseAt year’s end, some of many lists to ponder involve “best podcasts.” While they vary according to taste, what’s apparent is that podcasting still has a significant place in online life. Indeed, 2013 was the year that Apple announced one billionth podcast subscription had been logged on the iTunes store.

Pew Research Center polling shows that the podcast user base continues to expand.  A May 2013 survey found 27% of internet users ages 18 and older download or listen to podcasts, up from 21% three years ago in May 2010 and 7% of internet users in 2006.

Those downloading podcasts still tilt towards users who have the profile of “early adopters.” Among internet users, the groups most likely to consume podcasts include:

  • Male internet users (30%), compared with women (24%)
  • Younger internet users, particularly those ages 18-29 (33%), compared with older adults
  • Online adults living in households earning at least $75,000 per year (35%), compared with those in lower income brackets
  • College graduates (37%), compared with most adults with lower levels of education
  • Internet users living in urban areas (30%), compared with those living in rural areas (24%)

Topics: Internet Activities

  1. Photo of Kathryn Zickuhr

    is a Research Associate at the Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life Project.


  1. BS4 years ago

    I’m guessing Pew is talking about American internet users, not all internet users as implied in the title of the blog post. US internet users make up only 11.4% of global internet users, so the claim that one third of ALL internet users are downloading or listening to podcasts is both false and absurd. I do hope Pew is not being deliberately vague in an effort to generate clicks — that would be irresponsible

  2. Matt Raz4 years ago

    Pretty compelling data here – thanks for suss out some insight and meaning from the raw numbers.

    One thing I noticed is the link to the May 2013 Survey seems to actually link to a survey on Online Dating, not podcast listenership

    1. Kathryn Zickuhr3 years ago

      Though online dating was one of the main topics we asked about, the May 2013 survey contains data about many topics, including podcasts.