Um, what did you just say?
That’s right, you read it the first time – podcasts aren’t just for white guys any more. In the early days of podcasts, the bulk majority of the listener base was white males, ages 25-44. That’s going back to the early days – the beginning – of podcasts as we know them.
Why were a bunch of white guys the early listeners? Frankly, a lot of it was because the content was set up to cater to that demographic – a bunch of tech geeks, or techie wannabes, with the iPods and their negative numbers on the coolness scale being geeky and listening in to these podcasts when no one else did.
So what’s the story now with podcast listener demographics?
Just like a lot of other things in life, there has been a broad expanding of horizons, target demographics and progress in the podcast world.
Edison Research published some interesting results earlier this year – about the widespread demographics change in listeners.
Two things stand out here. First of all, the Podcast audience is growing increasingly non-white, with white listeners shrinking from 68% in 2011 to 63% in 2016. Also, the percentage of African-American listeners has not only grown, but also over-indexes from the U.S. Population, which is currently around 12% African-American. Again, much of this is due to the increasing diversity of content available.
And while they did not address the Latino community per se in their comments, the increase to 12% of the listener population by the Latino community should forecast a surge in numbers over the next couple of years in that demographic.
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Why a big increase going forward in Latino listeners?
Latinos are very tech friendly as a group, and are more willing to experiment with new technology, tend to be early adopters and spend more time using new technology than their non-Latino counterparts do these days. We see it across the board with technology products, and if you’ve been thinking about translating your site into multiple languages or doing a close caption of your podcast, Spanish is absolutely the way we would suggest that you go.
What does this mean?
It means that now it the time to get your s**t together and make sure that your podcast is designed to be inclusive – unless you have a very narrow target demographic and don’t really care about expanding your listener base.