Who’s Listening to Podcasts in 2019? A new Canadian survey is out. Where do you fit in?

Apparently a lot of Canadian adults are, more than you may imagine for a media that’s still coming into its own.

According to the latest findings from the appropriately-titled Canadian Podcast Listener by Audience Insights Inc. & Ulster Media (with support courtesy of The Podcast Exchange), 37% of the population aged 18+ did just that in the past year, up +10% from the first study conducted in 2017. Those who listen to podcasts monthly tend to be well-educated, i.e. have university degrees as well as live in households with incomes of $100,000 or more. British Columbia has a higher percentage composition of podcast listeners compared to Ontario (35% to 28%), with Alberta a close third at 27%.

I was surprised to learn that YouTube is taking a big bite out of Apple’s business in terms of how podcasts are delivered to Canadians on the whole. Power listeners who have the time for 5+ hours a week pray at the altar of Apple Podcasts/iTunes. Podcasts’ biggest appeal may lie with its hosts. The most successful narrators are multi-platform draws, with younger millennial types following personalities they like on social media/YouTube, whereas the older set prefer more conventional, time-tested reach extenders such as TV and ol’ reliable AM/FM radio.

For something that hearkens back to old timey serials, podcasts may very well be one of the most effective methods to get a message to an elusive yet engaged and highly invested audience. Monthly listeners don’t avoid advertisements the way they do twice more likely with say online pop-up ads. This is obviously great news for an industry expected to exceed over $1 billion in the US come 2021, although our country has a long way to go (only $60 or so million in potential revenue).

Power listeners aren’t only defined by the number of hours they pay attention, but how loyal they are to the medium…and how much they’re willing to support what they like. 40% of this group have contributed monetarily to podcasts, and more than half would welcome more ads so that their favourites can keep making episodes. An impressive 60% have taken action after hearing a podcast ad. However, the stat I found most interesting is that 62% admit to trying to find out more about something they’ve heard on a podcast, only to discover the product or service isn’t available in Canada!

If I were to put my marketing research hat on, I’d love to know where podcasts are being consumed in Canada, as in does most listening happen on morning commutes? The valued added Canadian Podcast Chart reveals there are no shortage of shows and topics being heard – 2,411 unique podcasts were stated by name, with only 27% receiving more than one mention. What genres are power listeners most captivated by? I know Sean Cannon of the Striped podcast for one thinks there’s loads of promise in talking about music. These answers may actually be in the full version of this pretty comprehensive free summary, which if you’re an interested party is available at CanadianPodcastListener.ca.

Gilles LeBlanc

Gilles LeBlanc literally fell into “alternative rock” wayyy back at Lollapalooza 1992, where he got caught in his first mosh pit watching some band named Pearl Jam. Since then, he’s spent the better part of his life looking for music to match the liberating rush he felt that day, with a particular chest-beating emphasis on stuff coming out of his native Canada. It took him awhile, but Gilles now writes feverishly about all things that rock (and or roll) through his ROCKthusiast alter ego.

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