There really is streaming content for everyone these days, and podcasts are no different–but is anyone even listening? CivicScience asked the general adult population about their relationship with audio content, and while the short answer is a resounding yes, the real story is in the details.

Just over one-third of the general population listens to podcasts, which confirms this means of entertainment is as mainstream as ever.

Podcasts are a daily habit among nearly one-quarter of listeners, though the majority tune in at least weekly. 

Podcast listening loyalty doesn’t have much of an effect on loyalty to other kinds of streaming content. In fact, proprietary shows and movies on major streaming services have become the preferred avenue of entertainment for respondents, regardless of listening behavior. We also observed that monthly podcast listeners are the most inclined to watch live TV compared to their counterparts.

As far as genres are concerned, true crime podcasts lead the pack by a significant margin. Non-fiction and interview-style programs trail slightly behind, while sports podcasts feel the least love from active listeners. 

We identified some noteworthy trends when comparing age demographic to podcast genres of choice. Interest in true crime decreases as age increases, while audiences show more fondness towards special interest shows the later they are in life. Interview and non-fiction style podcasts report similar levels of appreciation across age groups.

Interest in true crime podcasts shows a firm grip on female respondents, while male respondents report an increased taste for interview and non-fiction programs, which may nod to the meteoric rise of popular hosts such as Joe Rogan. Preference for sports programs reflects the widest gap in interest between genders.

If a podcast isn’t self-funded, chances are, it operates on revenue from sponsored ads. Over one-third of listeners report ad conversion, indicating there is certainly a path to success for brands that can successfully tap into listener loyalty.

There’s a whole roster of brands who have become regular fixtures in the podcast advertising space, like Casper, for example. Our data show that one-quarter of listeners have tried a Casper mattress, and while post-purchase favorability differs, the correlation is hard to ignore.

Naturally, the most popular podcast types have the best ad conversions. Nearly one-quarter of all podcast listeners have helped to keep the lights on at their favorite show by purchasing a product featured during an ad read, with true crime, once again, flaunting the most effective advertising results.

The podcast popularity bubble doesn’t look like it’s set to burst anytime soon, as listenership continues to grow steadily right along with sponsored ad conversion. For even more consumer insights faster than you can say “testing, one, two”, you can request a demo here