When we posted the graph (see previous story,) about YouTube being the go-to destination for podcast consumption, we immediately reached out to Randy Bennett from the University of Florida’s College of Journalism and Communications. The College and Futuri Media conducted the study. Here’s what Bennett had to say…
PBJ: Can you please help us understand how you came to the conclusion that YouTube was #1, Spotify #2 and Apple #3? There’s going to be a ton of doubt from the podcasting gurus. That just does not compute with their stats and studies.
Randy Bennett: One of the findings from this survey is indeed the definition of “podcast.” The survey allowed respondents to self-identify as podcast listeners. We did not put a definition of traditional podcasts vs. other types of on-demand audio in front of them. So the results return a finding in and of itself – what consumers consider “podcasts” has evolved from what the industry thinks of “podcasts”, e.g. audio, typically in a series, that you subscribe to.
The industry definition of podcast appears to be different from consumer perceptions and definitions, and that was one thing that came across in the study. This is likely why findings might differ from those studies that defined “podcast” to respondents. What consumers consider to be podcasts today seems to have evolved to be something more than the traditional format and consumption patterns.
And research shows that YouTube is a leading social media platform and content discovery platform for millennials. They prefer to use the platform for all kinds of content. So using YouTube as a platform to find and engage with what consumers consider to be podcasts is valid.
The study was conducted by Dr. Sylvia Chan-Olmstead from the University of Florida, a highly respected and awarded media researcher who has consulted for Google, Nielsen, and more. There’s more on her background here. You can also find and more information on the study sample of 2,000 in the slide deck.
It’s important for content creators to know the distinction so that they can maximize their opportunities with different types of content, but it seems that the distinction doesn’t matter to consumers.”