Podcasts are resonating with diverse audiences – Nielsen - Social Media Explorer
Podcasts are resonating with diverse audiences – Nielsen
Podcasts are resonating with diverse audiences – Nielsen

Podcast popularity has changed the market in a significant way over the past decade. And the booming interest in new, engaging content has proven to be an attractive option among media consumption—particularly for diverse audiences.

SME’s Seen on Screen 2021 report examines the importance of quantity and quality of on-screen representation for diverse identity groups. Specifically, how and how often different identity groups show up in content—and where within the storyline or subject—matters. Yet, much of today’s media still centers on one perspective or experience, with representation often addressed As a complimentto be a central storyline or primary character. People are constantly looking for information that can accurately convey and illustrate their personal experiences. There is a growing number of choices, especially when considering audio platforms. Podcast content can be a powerful medium for different audiences. 

SME Podcast Buying Power Data Shows:

  • The average number of podcast listeners per month by identity groups: This ranges between 9 and 12 for Asian Americans, Black, Hispanics, People with Disabilities, LGBTQ+, and Hispanics. 
  • Podcast listening time is approximately three hours per week for each podcast group.
  • How much of each group listens at home most? 67% are people with disabilities, while 43% are Asian Americans.

Here are some podcasts that have been listened to the most by their audience.

Podcasts have a growing popularity


Just as essential as the Black hitmakers, is the community commentary that elevates them—a trend that points to why podcasts are growing in Black listenership and audience investment. Black listeners are streaming audio more than other audiences, while listening more closely when brands reach out—averaging a 73% brand recall for podcast ads. 


Hispanics make up a large part of the Hispanic community. They are an intersectional group that has many experiences, perspectives, and expectations. Trusted platforms are the best way to provide them with fresh and relevant culturally-relevant content. And podcasts are now a go-to platform for Hispanics to find that diverse content reflective of their experiences—and the podcasters that best engage them. Podcast listening has increased by two-thirds among Hispanics aged 25 to 39 in three years.  

Asian Americans 

Podcast listeners have increased by 5x since the beginning of the decade thanks to podcasts that offer content relevant to Asian Americans. As with TV news, news continues to be a popular genre. It is also likely that this trend will continue, as both the uncertainty surrounding the pandemic and the fact that Asian audiences are still keeping up to date on developments in the social justice movement, is not yet clear. 

Podcast usage among certain diverse audiences

Over the last decade, podcasting has seen an increase in listenership and engagement. This gives all viewers the possibility to find content that resonates. Podcasts have big advertising dollars, and the positive momentum is encouraging more celebrities to participate in podcasting. The Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) is predicting that ad revenue will hit $2 billion by 2023, well above the $842 million generated last year. 

Notably, podcast advertising—particularly when read by the host—drives stronger brand recall punch than more traditional forms of advertisements. For example, SME’s Podcast Ad Effectiveness (PAE) solutions have found that host-read ads drive a brand recall rate of 71%, which subsequently creates high levels of consumer interest, purchase intent and recommendation intent. 

Specially for diverse audiences, content that connects isn’t just on-screen; these audiences want to hear from trusted voices with similar backgrounds or that have similar interests. Most importantly, the topics need to be inclusive and of interest—from credible sources with original voices. Because podcasts appeal more to diverse audiences, agencies and brands can monitor engagement with them in order to leverage specific opportunities within their marketing strategies.

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About the Author

Adam is an owner at Nanohydr8. He really loves comedy and satire, and the written word in general.

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