Anatomy of a Binge Podcast Listener & How to Reach Them

Brianna Oates, Manager, Podcast Sales MarketingNov 13, 2023

The rise of digital gave us on-demand content—and oh, how we’ve indulged. And it’s not just full-season drops on services like Netflix; podcast listeners are far from immune to falling down the content rabbit hole. In fact, over 60% of podcast listeners ages 18+ say they listen to multiple podcast episodes back-to-back in a single listening session. These can’t-get-enough, just-one-more, oh-well-the-next-one-already-started listening habits helped drive the 61% increase in podcast content downloads we saw in 2022. 

Rather than binging on content that keeps them tied to a couch, these high achievers prefer the go-anywhere convenience of podcasts. According to our 2023 Podcast User Study, 68% of binge listeners say podcasts are a companion to other daily activities, like working (65%), traveling (70%), or doing chores (86%). And according to Nielsen’s Podcast Buying Power Report, 80% of binge listeners have a bachelor’s degree or higher and one in two travel often for business.

Binge listeners are an advertiser’s dream, giving brands ample opportunity to reach them consistently.

Listening For a Long Time & Looking for More

They’ve been here a while. Nearly seven in 10 have been listening for six years or more. With their back-to-back consumption habits, these avid podcast fans are frequently adding new shows to the queue. They’re always on the lookout for the next bingeable podcast—in fact, 83% say they found a new show in the last six months. 

And unsurprisingly for this uber-indulgent set, 63% of binge podcast listeners gravitate toward miniseries and limited releases that allow them to listen to the story in its entirety. There’s something exciting and unique about miniseries podcasts that sparks binge listening. And although podcasts are already an ideal storytelling medium, the nature of a mini or limited series allows creators to take more care in creating a compelling narrative.

Get in on New and New-to-Them Content

It takes a lot of content to keep binge listeners entertained. Luckily, podcasts offer a steady flow of new titles and seasonal releases to sate the appetite. Their ravenous listening habits push shows to the top of the leaderboard, with 60% of binge listeners saying they finish listening to an entire series within the first week of its release. But this audience is not only obsessed with what’s new. They’re also discovering content that’s been around a while, with 88% saying they don’t mind listening to episodes that were created or posted several months ago. 

The opportunity for advertisers is two-fold. Brands can reach podcast bingers by sponsoring new mini-series or limited releases with consistent messaging, and then scale out to a podcast network for additional touchpoints. 

Loving All Kinds of Shows

Across formats and genres, binge listeners like a bit of everything—but there are some clear trends. Shows with conversations between co-hosts and those that focus on investigative storytelling are big hits with this group. 

Instead of wasting valuable downtime on their commute, these go-getters spend their time stimulating their brains and immersing themselves in the true crime and fiction & drama genres. Each of these categories offer binge listeners the escape they desire. Crime Junkie is one of the most popular podcasts amongst binge listeners, offering suspense and edge-of-your-seat storytelling.

Do Some Networking

Brands can reach binge listeners best through renowned podcast networks like Crooked Media and audiochuck. These publishers produce shows with impeccable storytelling surrounding heavily researched content. And since fans already know they love the storytelling style, they jump into new stories head first. It's no wonder that over 51% of binge podcast listeners are interested in podcasts that are a part of a network of shows.  

Making Time for Podcasts

For over seven in 10 binge listeners, podcasts are a part of their daily routine, and 92% say they look forward to new episodes of their favorite shows. That means these listeners are creatively fitting podcasts into their everyday lives. Whether they’re getting ready for the day or getting ready for bed (and at all points in between), there’s a podcast playing.

Reach Listeners at Pivotal Moments

Binge podcast listeners over index for shopping in store and online while listening, with 56% looking for their next purchase as the episodes roll. That means brands advertising on bingeable shows (like full-season drops and miniseries) can be with these listeners when they have buying in mind. And with 70% of binge listeners saying they feel a personal connection to the hosts, podcast ads can make a positive impression.

More Likely to Buy

It’s no secret that higher ad frequency drives higher lifts in ad recall, purchase intent, and other listener behavior. That’s why binge listeners are 13% more likely to purchase an item they hear about in a podcast ad than podcast listeners overall. Whether it’s ad messages on a season they’re binging or on a show they’re trying out, you can reach binge listeners with the SiriusXM Podcast Network. Let’s talk.

And if you want to know more about podcast listeners, check out our latest podcast advertising report: The Who's Who of Podcast Listening.

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