Cleaning, commuting and cooking: when do Americans listen to podcasts?
February 8th, 2023, Clifton Mark

Cleaning, commuting and cooking: when do Americans listen to podcasts?

Podcasts have long since hit the mainstream. According to data from YouGov Profiles, the majority of Americans now listen to podcasts, with 14% listening once or more a day and another 14% listening every week. While it’s true that 47% of Americans do not listen to podcasts, this is down from 55% in January of 2020.1 And data from the YouGov Media Outlook Report indicates that podcast listening will continue to grow, with 14% of Americans saying they’ll listen to more podcasts in the coming year.

Podcast listening is especially concentrated among younger Americans with 27% of those aged 18-34 listening at least once a day and another 26% listening once or several times a week. This group is followed by those 35-49, 45% of whom listen to podcasts once a week or more. Listenership drops off among older age groups with half (50%) of 50-64-year-olds and 62% of those older than 65 saying they do not listen to podcasts at all.

Unlike media like TV or movies, listening to podcasts leaves consumers’ hands and eyes free, meaning that shows are often enjoyed while engaged in some other activity. So what situations do Americans listen to podcasts in?

About half of Americans (49%) who listen to podcasts do so while doing household chores, the most popular podcast-listening situation. Commuting to work, another activity that requires eyes and not quite all of one’s attention, is second at 42%. This is followed by working out and cooking/baking, both at 29%. While many situations are equally appealing to different genders, there are a few with significant differences. Women are more likely to listen to podcasts while doing household chores (55% vs 43% of men) and while cooking/baking (35% vs 22%). Men are more likely to listen to podcasts while working out or doing sport (32% vs 26%).

Age also makes a difference. Of podcast listeners, about half of those in the 18-34 and 35-49 age groups (47%) listen to podcasts while commuting compared to 24% of those aged 50-64 and 20% of those 65+. On the other hand, 27% of podcast listeners above the age of 65 listen before going to sleep compared to 19% of those aged 18-49.

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Methodology: YouGov Profiles is based on continuously collected data and rolling surveys, rather than from a single limited questionnaire. Profiles data for the US is nationally representative of the online and weighted by age, gender, education, region, and race. Learn more about Profiles.   

Photo by Mark Rohan on Unsplash