March 23, 2017 Last Updated 10:53 am

AudioBoom study says lack of diversity in podcast market due to discoverability issues

The report, commissioned by YouGov, reveals that 76 percent of minority Americans listen to podcasts less than once a week, with 60 percent not listening at all

NEW YORK – March 23, 2017 –– New research from AudioBoom, a global podcasting platform that consolidates the business of on-demand audio, reveals a major diversity gap between the millions of podcasts available and the minority audiences they’re not yet reaching.

Findings show that 3 out of 4 minority Americans listen to podcasts less than once a week or not at all, partly due to not knowing where to find them, as well as being unaware of podcasts that cover the diverse topics they’re interested in. In order to address this discrepancy and make podcasts more appealing to the masses, there’s a need to create more diverse content, identify and nurture undiscovered minority podcast talent, leverage technology in order to bring more niche shows to the top of the charts, and make podcasts more convenient for on-the-go listeners.

As noted in AdWeek, today’s podcast listeners are predominately white, urban, college-educated people that have a household income of $100K or more, underscoring the need to cast a wider net of engaged listeners.  AudioBoom’s findings, conducted with third party research firm YouGov, similarly reveals that there’s an untapped podcast market out there, as just 1% of African Americans report listening to podcasts on a daily basis.

According to the report, there are several ways that American listeners believe that podcasts can become more mainstream to include a larger and more diverse audience:

  • Create more diverse content: Among minority Americans who think podcasts could become more mainstream to a diverse audience, almost half (46%) believe that creating more content around topics that appeal to diverse audiences would help.
    • Content creators need to remember that the term “minorities” doesn’t just refer to race – it also encompasses interests and lifestyles.
    • This also includes working with different content producers and up-and-coming hosts that will inevitably bring a different perspective for an entirely new segment of listeners.
  • Discover undiscovered podcast talent: According to the report, among US minorities who believe that podcasts can be made more mainstream to a diverse audience, 31% think that finding undiscovered podcast talent (i.e. hosts, producers, etc.) would make them more listened to.
  • Create stronger distribution technology: Also according to the report, among US minorities who believe that podcasts can be made more mainstream to a diverse audience, 34% think using technology to boost the ease of discovering diverse podcasts would help solve the issue.
  • Make podcasts convenient, especially for women on-the-go: 25% of women surveyed care about the length of the podcast, citing that they would only engage with podcasts that can be listened to in full, while on the go. This is the case for 25% of white women, and also 25% of minority women.

“It’s no secret that podcasts are primarily consumed by white, middle/upper-class audiences,” said Stuart Last, COO of audioBoom. “At audioBoom, we are working to reach a more diverse audience by showcasing existing content that could be of interest to them, as well as developing new shows led by minority hosts. For instance, we’ve developed a show called The 45th, a biweekly dissection of policy and spectacle of the Trump Administration from the unique perspective of three women, two of which are Muslim, including Rabia Chaudry (former public advocate of Serial’s Adnan Syed and host of Undisclosed), Sarah Basha and Susan Simpson. The key is developing grabbing content that taps into a variety of topics that appeal to wide audiences.”

Methodology

AudioBoom commissioned YouGov PLC — a third party, professional research and consulting organization —to poll the views of a representative sample of 1110 Americans. Fieldwork was undertaken between February 15 and 16, 2017. The survey was carried out online. The figures have been weighted and are representative of all US adults (aged 18+).

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