Sometimes it feels that barely a week passes between announcements of a new sports podcast. There is no doubt that this relatively new medium is here to stay but how popular is it among American sports fans? And just how valuable is it to have granular data when it comes to media consumption? The chart below gives us the answer.
As you can see, around one in five members of the general public (19%) listened to a podcast in the last week. To put that in context, that’s more than the proportion of Americans who listened to online radio, read a print newspaper or who read a print magazine over the same period. In that respect, the medium has enjoyed an exponential rise in popularity.
The chart also shows how, for the most part, sports fans are slightly more likely than the general population to have listened to a podcast in the past week. (The definition of fans we use here are those who told us that the sport was one of their top interests. Sample sizes vary between fan group but average at more than 1,000).
NBA fans are those who are most likely to have listened while NFL and MLS fans are least likely to have done so. Their consumption rate is on a par with that of the general population’s.
But those differences are more pronounced when it comes to younger fans. Almost one in four (24%) 18-to-34-year-old members of the public tell us that they have listened recently but amongst NBA fans of the same age group that rises to around one in three (31%). Amongst NBA fans, it’s even more, at 32%. Curiously younger MLS fans are less likely than younger members of the general population to listen to podcasts.
But a key insight which emerges from these figures is that younger NFL fans are much more likely to have listened to a podcast this week than NFL fans in general (32% v 19%). So while the headline figures suggest that podcasting is relatively unpopular among football fans, among younger football fans, the opposite is true – podcasting is particularly popular.
For football marketers, I can’t think of a better example of the importance of being able to break down audience insights more granularly.
Photo by Jonathan Farber