Westwood Reveals More Great News For Podcasting


Westwood One released its fourth annual podcast study, a comprehensive evaluation incorporating several studies that examine podcast audience and advertiser trends over the past five years. It’s more good news for the podcasting industry.

The top stories from this report relate to podcast platforms. Other topics include usage trends, content trends, and advertising trends.

“The podcast platform wars are heating up. In this year’s report, Spotify is closing in on Apple as the most used podcast platform, and YouTube is growing as well,” said Suzanne Grimes, EVP, Marketing for Cumulus Media and President, Westwood One. “There’s good news for advertisers too. Podcast listeners embrace advertising. Four out of five podcast listeners have taken an action after hearing a podcast ad, and an increasing number of listeners feel podcast ads are relevant and memorable.”

Here are some of the highlights from the report, according to Westwood One
Podcasting is “pandemic proof. P
odcast audiences have steadily grown and strengthened over the last four years, despite the recent COVID-19 crisis. Weekly time spent has grown year over year, especially among men and Millennials 18-34s.  Consumers who recently began listening to podcasts are forming much stronger audience habits in 2020.

Listeners are using more platforms: Weekly podcast audiences are increasing the number of podcast platforms they’re using to listen.

Women represent a significant proportion of newly arrived podcast listeners: Among those who began their podcast listening habit in the last year, two-thirds are women. Since 2017, weekly time spent among women has grown +27% versus +14% for men.

Spotify closes the gap: When asked to indicate the place most used to access podcasts, listeners say Apple is still is the number one destination.  However, Spotify is closing the gap while YouTube increases as well.  

“Use the most to access the podcasts you listen to” July 2019 July 2020
Apple Podcasts 26% 22%
Spotify 15% 20%
YouTube 14% 16%
Google Podcasts 5% 6%


Platform usage is shifting on smart phones: Among Apple phone owners, there’s been a decrease in Apple Podcasts use, while Spotify has grown. Among Android users, where a podcast app isn’t built in, Spotify and YouTube are seeing the most growth in use since July 2019. 

While consumers tend to avoid ads on video and digital platforms, podcast listeners embrace ads: The more consumers listen to podcasts, the more ads they’ll accept. There is a strong understanding that advertising is what supports listeners’ favorite podcasts. Many say they wouldn’t mind a couple of extra ads so their favorite podcasts can continue. Podcast ad appeal has improved as well – weekly listeners find podcast ads more engaging, relevant, and memorable. 



Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here