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Podcasts and radio How radio can play by its own rules

Report by Annie Langston
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20,000 foot view:  Radio set the stage for music streaming and podcasts, only to watch them take portions of its audience. However, there is a clear opportunity for radio companies to assert themselves in the podcast market, drawing on decades of programming expertise to retain audiences and find new ones. It will not be easy, as radio companies will need to embrace streaming and an open podcasting ecosystem. But, if done right, radio companies can become key players in the growing podcast market.

Key insights 

  • Radio is            the basis for podcasts, music            and live audio — all            which have steadily adopted radio-like           
  • Despite            of            listening to radio monthly, the            is in long-term, steady decline
  • From            2020                       2022, podcast monthly active users            have grown by            percentage points            are officially beyond niche penetration,                       listen to podcasts monthly
  • Radio’s leading            is            at            monthly penetration, while            leading audience is older millennials            the            age range, at           
  • Spoken-word audio            low penetration among            with only            to either radio or podcasts           
  • Radio’s future            depend on its ability to            younger audiences, by bringing podcasts            them rather than trying to            them to traditional radio
  • Radio programmers            wield their expertise in habitual            audience engagement, background listening, and            programming to create an edge            the podcasting space 
  • Radio has            clear advantage to deliver trustworthy            timely news podcasts, which are            second-most regularly listened-to podcast genre,                       monthly penetration
  • As music            the third-most regularly listened-to podcast            radio can also tap into            music and live programming roots            serve this audience

Companies and brands mentioned in this report: Alex Cooper, Amazon Amp, Apple Podcasts, Audible, BBC, BBC Radio            BBC Radio            BBC Sounds, Clubhouse, Drake, Global Radio, HBO Max, iHeart, Joe Rogan, KBS World, Meghan Trainer, NPR, Omar Apollo, Radio France, SiriusXM, Spotify, Spotify Live, Sveriges Radio, TikTok, Twitter Spaces, WBEZ, YouTube