02_Elements/Icons/ArrowLeft Back to Insight
Insights > Media

If You Create It, Will They Come? Producing Podcast Content to Build Your Listener Base

3 minute read | May 2016

In a day and age where social media comes in many forms and opinions can be shared online with the touch of a button, having a voice—a literal speaking voice—has gotten a lot easier through digital avenues such as podcasting.

In fact, Nielsen Scarborough found that podcasting consumption is on the rise with the number of adults 18 and older listening to a podcast during the past month doubling over the previous five years!

But while anyone with a smartphone or a computer can become a podcaster, building a loyal audience is where the challenge begins. And with so many platforms vying for the attention of the consumer, selecting the right content is the key to success.

Nielsen Scarborough examined the lifestyles and behaviors of podcast listeners to identify the types of content that engaged these consumers and kept them coming back for more.

Who Listens?

The study found that podcast listeners are equally male and female, with the majority (70%) being between the ages of 18-44. They are 39% more likely to be single, 44% more likely to be a college graduate and 33% more likely to be employed in a white collar occupation. With an average household income of $83,700, podcast listeners exceed the national average by about $12,000.

Following The Money!

With higher average incomes than the general population, podcast listeners are particularly interested in investments and wealth management. More than 65% of podcast listeners have some type of investment, with nearly half participating in a 401K plan. In addition, podcast listeners are 25% more likely to have stocks, 105% more likely to engage in online investing/stock trading and 15% more likely to use a financial planner.  

And while podcast listeners are serious about their finances, they are equally serious about giving back to their communities with three-quarters having contributed money to a cause during the past year. Their contributions focus on areas they are passionate about and where they can make an impact on society. These causes’ include education, social programs and arts and culture.

Beyond The Casting

While it’s easy to think that podcast listeners are glued to their devices and desks, listening intently in perpetuity, the truth is that these consumers are quite active. The analysis found that podcast listeners are adventurous, and they love the great outdoors. Hiking-, backpacking- and camping-related content will grab their attention, with one in four listeners having engaged in these activities during the past year. Bicycling and boating content will also resonate, as podcast listeners are 49% more likely to have bicycled and 22% more likely to have gone boating.

It comes as no surprise, then, that nutrition, weight loss and fitness will also appeal to the podcast listeners, as they are interested in being healthy and looking their best. Three out of five consider their health to be excellent/very good, and they actively work to maintain their health. Listeners are 48% more likely to belong to a gym and 36% more likely to follow a weight loss program. 

As media consumption continues to shift more to on-demand and advertiser wanting to reach consumers must go beyond age and gender, knowing lifestyle and interests are critical to reach the right listener. So “yes,” they will come, but only if you fill your podcast with the right content.


Podcast listeners include adults 18 and older who watched, listened to or downloaded a podcast on any device during the past 30 days. The insights included data from Nielsen Scarborough USA+, Release 2, 2015.

Related tags:

Continue browsing similar insights

Our products can help you and your business

  • Consumer & Media View

    Access syndicated and custom consumer research that will help you shape successful brand, advertising and marketing…

  • NCSolutions

    Maximize CPG advertising effectiveness with data to better segment, optimize and enable sales-based outcomes.