UK – video podcasts: Who's watching, what genres and why?
February 8th, 2024, Janice Fernandes

UK – video podcasts: Who's watching, what genres and why?

Podcasts are a widely consumed modern media, but with a surge in the proportion of podcasters now casting directly to video, what is the size of the market for watchers, as opposed to listeners?

Among those who tune in to podcasts, the data reveals that a majority of UK consumers prefer audio podcasts (59%), with women showing a stronger preference for it than men (64% vs. 55% respectively). Just 13% of them say they prefer video podcasts. The middle ground is occupied by those who choose a format based on content (16%) or context (11%).

Diving deeper into the world of video podcasts reveals the genres that capture audiences’ attention. Educational content takes the lead at 36% with a notable difference between male (32%) and female (41%) respondents. Pop culture and entertainment follows at a close second (35%).

Around a third of UK consumers watch news and current affairs podcasts (34%), with a notable gender difference - 41% of males and 24% of females. Similarly, the technology and science genre (26% overall) is more likely to grab the attention of male viewers (35%) than female (14%).

Health and wellness and lifestyle and personal development also command a significant share of viewership (27% and 26% respectively) with a slightly higher share of women showing interest than men.

The survey further probes into the reasons behind preferences for video podcasts over their audio counterparts. The most common factor cited is visual appeal, with 53% of respondents noting the significance of facial expressions and body language. Variety of content is the second most likely reason, but at a significantly lower rate (29%). Notably, the desire to engage without multitasking (23%) emerges as a popular factor. More men are likely to watch video podcasts because of accessibility (20%) and the ability to share specific moments on social media platforms (19%), compared to 13% of women.

But are consumers watching entire episodes or just highlights?

Around two-fifths of respondents (39%) express a tendency to watch the entire video podcast episode. However, watching specific segments or highlights of a show holds interest for 24% of viewers, emphasizing a preference for more targeted content. More than a third of overall respondents (36%) say that the decision is content-dependent.

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Methodology: YouGov Surveys: Serviced provides quick survey results from nationally representative or targeted audiences in multiple markets. This study was conducted online on January 30-31, 2024, with a nationally representative sample of 2,159 adults in the United Kingdom (aged 18+ years), using a questionnaire designed by YouGov. Data figures have been weighted by age, gender, education, social grade and region to be representative of all adults. Learn more about YouGov Surveys: Serviced.

Image: Getty Images