Not all Podcast listeners behave in the same way

Jul 2019  RadioWorks Blog

Podcast listeners

Shocking right? Of course, we know that the above goes without saying, but it’s easier said than proven… until now. A podcast listener’s behaviour, according to Voxnest, is heavily dependent on podcast category. The company’s new report found that listening habits differed across several show genres. This could mean that advertisers need to rethink their pod spend and develop more time-specific advertisements.

Looking at the industry as a whole, we’re seeing more advertisers sitting up and taking notice as digital audio reach continues its steady trend upwards. Digital audio is currently sitting at roughly 36.6 million weekly listeners and podcast listenership has risen to 7.6 million. The response to this growth? According to dax’s latest study, ‘The Rise of Digital Audio Advertising’, 75% of advertisers will up podcast ad spend in 2019. Additionally, 86% of advertising agencies and 66% of brand advertisers see digital audio as a ‘key part’ of their integrated media strategies.

The audio media landscape is making big changes, so we need big data to support these changes. Voxnest’s report explored the most popular listening times by podcast category, specifically focusing on the top five podcast genres in Europe and the US.

So, what did we learn from this data? Here are a few key takeaways:

1. Top five podcast categories in Europe:

podcast listening hours europe

Business: Most popular window = 4 pm to 6 pm
Culture: Most popular window = 6 am and 8 am
Psychology: Most popular window = 7 am to 9 am
History: Most popular window = 4 pm to 6 pm
Education: Most popular window = 4 pm to 6 pm

2. Top five podcast categories in the US:

Religion: Most popular window = 6 am and 8 am
Culture: Most popular window = 7 am and 10 am
Sports: Most popular window = 6 am and 8 am
History: Most popular window = 7 pm to 9 pm
News & Information: Most popular window = 5 pm and 8 pm

3. Beware of the trap – not all listeners behave in the same way.

Considerations need to be made for certain podcast categories. Various genres are more popular at particular times of the day, times when you might not have expected to be very popular.

For example, due to a large majority of the ‘Culture’ category being given to true crime podcasts in Europe, we’re seeing listeners tuning in to Culture podcasts during the day, not in the evenings as there is less to fear while it’s still light outside.

podcast listening hours

4. There are a few principal listening patterns

It’s abundantly clear that podcasts are an integral part of consumers’ morning and evening commutes and general routines. With that being said, there are a small number of significant listening hours when audiences are consuming podcasts the most. In the U.S., 7-8 am and 9-10 pm are the top performing hours and within Europe, 7 am and 5 pm are the most popular listening windows.


If you want to find out more about advertising on commercial radio stations or digital audio platforms in the UK or internationally – we can help!

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The RadioWorks Group