Unlocking the Power of the Lucrative Podcast Audience

Podcast listeners are a highly engaged and valuable audience with spending power. They share and take action with the products advertised, delivering a high return on advertising investment. The key is tapping into this audience, but how? MRI-Simmons offers more than a thousand attitudinal and behavioral digital/audio targets, which advertisers can use to reach these valuable podcast consumers.

According to the recent MRI-Simmons 2023 April Podcast Study, 72 million adults listened to podcasts in the last 30 days. Of the monthly listeners, 87% listen to at least one podcast in a typical week. In the previous two years, the podcast audience grew by more than eight million people, allowing marketers to reach an influential, captive audience. In terms of ROI, nearly seventy-two percent of podcast listeners agree that podcast advertising provides them with helpful information about new products or services, and 78% agree that ads in posts make them aware of new products and services.

Over the past two years, podcast listeners' growth has been driven by Gen Z, up 38% to 12.1 million monthly listeners. However, millennials remain the top listener group with 32 million active listeners, or 45% of the listening population.

Generation Z

Over half of typical weekly Gen Z listeners can be classified as light to moderate listeners, with 22% listening less than three hours per week and 35% three to 6 hours per week. On the higher end, over 2 in 5 tunes in for seven hours or more. While Gen Z may be a small percentage of overall podcast listeners, their extended listening time shows engagement across multiple podcasts. Even though many from Gen Z are generally light consumers of podcasts, they're captivated audiences of the podcasts they choose to partake in, with 74% agreeing podcasts are a regular part of their routines.

Gen Z's favored podcast genres are Comedy (45%, 133), True Crime (32%, 109), and Entertainment/ Pop Culture (30%, 140). They are willing to take action: half talk about the content in the podcast (51%, 102), 40% will recommend a podcast (102), 30% will remember a product discussed or advertised in a podcast (102), and 28% will share the podcast with others (110). When hearing about an advertised product or service, 31% visited the company website for more information, and 27% considered purchasing the product. That's a valuable audience worth tapping into with our behavioral and attitudinal targets!


Millennials are very engaged with podcasts, with the majority (78%) indicating that podcasts are part of their daily routine, and they are the most likely to take an action after hearing an ad. They like to listen to Comedy (41%, 121), True Crime (33%, 112), and Music (30%, 117). In addition, Millennials share podcasts and engage in the products advertised more than other generations, increasing their word-of-mouth advertising potential. For example, 32% of Millennials actively visited a company's website for more information on a product after hearing an ad in a podcast, and 31% considered purchasing the product or service.

The key to reaching Podcast consumers is understanding who they are, what they want, and where to reach them. MRI-Simmons' attitudinal and behavioral targets can help marketers target, for example, heavy podcast listeners (listen to 6+ different podcasts in a typical week) who are highly educated (55% Bachelor's degree+, 157 index) and affluent (median HHI $130,000). Marketers could also use MRI-Simmons to find listeners who are responsive to advertising and have high engagement levels with podcast content and hosts. Our podcast/audio target audiences can be found via TruOptik, and our digital audiences are on platforms such as Google, Facebook Marketplace, The Trade Desk, Acxiom, and Oracle.

To learn more about the MRI-Simmons Podcast Study, podcast consumers, and how to activate on this lucrative and attentive audience, download our free report or contact us.
Teigen Young
Teigen Young
Teigen Young is the Market Research Intern at MRI-Simmons with a background in psychology, research, project management, and marketing. Teigen enjoys uncovering stories within data and turning them into actionable insights.
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