The Second Annual Stitcher Report

  • Moving beyond the coasts: New listeners are younger, more diverse, and spread out across the entire nation
  • Celebrities turned to podcasting for connection when film production shut down: 22 of the top 200 podcasts in 2020 were hosted by celebrities, most notably Rob Lowe, Jason Bateman, and Zac Braff
  • Cultural moments influence listener interest: From the Black Lives Matter movement to the Presidential race, 2020 was a year of major cultural events and the top search terms on Stitcher reflected listener interest to seek out information on trending topics in podcast form
  • Times have certainly changed: Pre-pandemic, top listening hours aligned with peak commuting times, which have been replaced by a shift to lunchtime/early afternoon (11 a.m. — 2 p.m.). Similarly, household chores and gardening have replaced commuting as the primary activity that listeners do while listening to podcasts.
  • Generational favorites: Based on user “favorite” activity, younger generations gravitated to comedy and talk content (age 13–34), while news and politics did better with older generations (age 35+)
  • Gen Z and Boomers have more in common than you might think: Both are twice as likely as the 25–44 year old cohort to have started listening because a celebrity or public figure they follow hosts a show. They also cite wanting to learn more about a topic more frequently than the rest of the population.
  • Gender differences in what prompts someone to begin listening: Men, Women and Non-Conforming folks all cite friends and family as the primary reason they started listening to podcasts, though it’s the heaviest outlier for women at 55.3%. Men and those who are gender non-conforming have more of a spread across other reasons such as seeing a show on social media (20.5 and 24.4% respectively) and following a publication or media outlet that has a podcast (18.3 and 16.1% respectively).



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