The total number of people who have ever listened to a podcast has exceeded 50 percent for the first time — a sign that the medium has become mainstream.
One-third of the population listened to a podcast in the last month. That’s 90 million monthly listeners, according to the just-released 2019 edition of The Infinite Dial, an annual survey conducted in January and February of 2019 by Edison Research and audio technology and advertising company Triton Digital.
“This is a watershed moment for podcasting — a true milestone,” noted Tom Webster, senior vice president at Edison Research, in a prepared statement.
Webster later tweeted, “I think we hit a tipping point.”
Webster credits Spotify with helping to move the needle on podcasts, the New York Times reported.
The music streaming service has increased its podcast offerings and recently paid more than $200 million to acquire Gimlet Media, the studio behind the popular podcasts “Crimetown” and “Reply All.” Spotify also bought Anchor, which makes tools for recording and distributing podcasts.
The 2019 Infinite Dial report is the latest in a series dating back to 1998 on consumer use of media, technology, and new mediums.
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Past reports showed an increase in podcasts from year to year, but that changed in the latest report with a dramatic jump. The number of people who have listened to at least one podcast in their lives increased by 20 million, and an additional 14 million people described themselves as weekly listeners, compared to the previous year.
Marlon Nichols, who co-founded the culturally-themed fund Cross Culture Ventures, said he expects the podcasting space to continue experiencing explosive growth.
“Brands are finding that they can target consumers with greater specificity and that tracking their ad dollars in the space is far more transparent,” Nichols said in an earlier Moguldom report.