Podcast Listeners: More Diverse Than the US Population


PodMov Daily: Tuesday, March 2

Episode 381: Testing, One Two-sday

Podcast Listeners: More Diverse Than the US Population

Podcast audiences are now more diverse than the wider US population, according to data from Nielsen. Good news, but what does the demographic shift mean for creators? In Podcast Pontifications, podcast philosopher and strategist Evo Terra offers implications, cautions, and opportunities for the industry.

Among the findings: “Hispanic, Black, Asian American and ‘other’ listeners collectively account for two in five (41%) of podcast listeners. Among all US adults, this figure is 34%.” Podcasting’s audience is no longer disproportionately white, though the same can’t yet be said for its pool of creators. 

“When working podcasters take off our headphones and put in our earbuds, we’re likely going to be exposed to more diverse content, as we encounter podcasts and episodes tailored for niches other than our own,” Terra says. This is a chance to sidestep the ‘trust gap,’ or bias perceptions, engrained in other media.

This American Life: 7 Timeless Storytelling Categories

Over 25 years, the style of This American Life has deeply influenced what we expect of longform audio stories. “Stepping away from the style, we have the story,” writes documentary podcaster Wil Treasure (Factor Two). “What is it that makes them so powerful? And why do they pick the stories they do?”

Treasure identifies seven classic narrative categories, like ‘A Day in Your Shoes.’ “These stories immerse you in a topic by literally hanging out with the protagonists and seeing what makes them tick,” Treasure explains. “129 Cars” is a perfect example of a mundane concept that leaves audiences hanging on every word.

Episodes like this are rarely compelling on the surface, Treasure says. “There’s no big wow moment to any individual event, but collected together they often form something with a little hint of magic.” Before you know it, you’re desperately rooting for the sales team at a Jeep dealership on Long Island.

The March 28-Day Challenge, sponsored by Buzzsprout, begins on Thursday. There's still time, new podcasters! Register to join dozens of other participants in our online community. Together, you'll build skills and launch with confidence.

I'm a success today because I had a friend who believed in me and I didn't have the heart to let him down.

Here's what else is going on:

  • Pour over: Cappuccino, yet another social audio app, may be the anti-Clubhouse. Romain Dillet of TechCrunch spoke with the company’s co-founder and CEO Gilles Poupardin about the app, where “short, intimate” audio is shared in private groups. Side note: Recordings are called ‘beans.’
  • Old friends: Can you really “plumb the depths of your dusty podcast archives” to repurpose your best content? It’s possible to break apart and expand your work, says James Griffin of Discover Pods. “You just have to do so in a way that values your audience and moves the show forward.”
  • Hello there: High school journalist Rainier Harris describes “how one happenstance email landed me as an apprentice at Dustlight Productions and working with Obama.” A single note to Dustlight CEO Misha Euceph became a paid opportunity on the Obama-Springsteen series Renegades.
  • Crime report: In the new Gimlet podcast Stolen: The Search for Jermain, award-winning journalist Connie Walker seeks justice for Indigenous women. Walker, who previously led Missing & Murdered at the CBC, tells Christian Allaire of Vogue about her 20 years of investigative work.

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