9 Things We Learned from Ofcom’s 2021 Podcast Survey


4. Listeners Actually Listen

As we touched on above, the breakdown of listening habits showed podcasts are often given time during activities when audiences can really pay attention, such as when at home relaxing or out for a walk.

These decisions are reinforced by the question summarised below, which asked respondents to tick any reason they listen to different forms of audio. The results are quite telling.

Listeners choose radio over any other medium to catch up on news, but radio is also miles ahead of podcasts for background listening, behind only music streaming (naturally). All mediums were used for entertainment, though podcasts and music more so, but 20% more listeners use podcasts to learn something new or improve their understanding of something.

Despite this, only 20% of listeners use podcasts for practical advice or to give them something to talk about.

Perhaps then, it is no shock that any form of audio content should have entertainment value at its core, whether compelling fiction, essential news or laugh out loud comedy.

But the reasons above corroborates other data, in that podcast is a medium where listeners want to engage more actively with what they’re hearing.

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