Nearly 80 million Americans, or 28 percent of the US population aged 12 and older, listen to podcasts weekly—a 17 percent increase over 2020. That’s according to “The Infinite Dial 2021” from Edison Research and Triton, a survey among 1,500 people conducted in January.
The podcast listening cohort is more diverse than ever today as the survey found that monthly listeners are 57 percent white, 16 percent Latino, 13 percent African American, four percent Asian and 10 percent of some other background.
An all-time high number of weekly online audio listeners was also observed—62 percent of the US 12 and over population, around 176 million people.
Smart speaker adoption is continuing to grow, with 33 percent of Americans, or 94 million consumers, saying they own a smart speaker—22 percent more than last year and seven percent more than in 2017. Among the respondents who own a smart speaker, 34 percent report having three or more of the devices in their household.
For the first time in the survey’s history, Facebook is no longer the platform that people use most. Forty-seven percent say they use Facebook the most—a 54 percent dip from the year prior. TikTok may be the source of the decline, with 44 percent of 12-34 year olds reporting that they use TikTok, up from 25 percent last year.
Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest and LinkedIn have also seen an increase in usage among users aged 12-34. The only app other than Facebook for which usage declined is Snapchat, down from 61 percent in 2020 to 55 percent.
Additionally, 20 percent of people say they’ve watched a video game livestream on services such as Twitch, YouTube Live, Facebook Live or Mixer, up five percent from last year.
With the jump in music streaming during lockdowns, shared audio listening is also on the rise. Over half (51 percent) of the survey participants say they “frequently” or “sometimes” listen to audio with other people, with this figure rising to 69 percent among those aged 12-34 years old. The most-listened-to audio service in the last month was Spotify (29 percent), followed by Pandora (20 percent) and YouTube Music, formerly Google Play (16 percent).