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New Research: YouTube is the Leading Podcast Platform

YouTube stands out as the primary platform for podcast discovery, with 34% of weekly podcast audience members citing it as their starting point, compared to Apple’s 18% and Spotify’s 15%.

Maddy Troy

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New findings from a recent study conducted by MARU/Matchbox, commissioned by Cumulus Media and Signal Hill Insights, reveal that YouTube has emerged as the leading platform for podcast consumption, surpassing other major players in the industry. The study, conducted in spring 2023, shows YouTube’s rapid growth in capturing the attention of podcast listeners over the past four years.

In previous editions of the Podcast Download study dating back to 2019, Apple held a dominant position as the preferred platform for podcast listening, with 29% of consumers using it most for that purpose. Apple’s share has steadily declined to 16%, while YouTube’s share has surged from 15% to its current leading position of 29%. Similarly, Spotify’s share has also seen a gradual decline from 27% to 17%.

YouTube’s ascendancy to the top spot is not limited to specific listener demographics or listening habits. Irrespective of when respondents started listening to podcasts or their frequency of consumption, YouTube remains the go-to platform for the majority of podcast listeners. YouTube stands out as the primary platform for podcast discovery, with 34% of weekly podcast audience members citing it as their starting point, compared to Apple’s 18% and Spotify’s 15%.

The April 2023 study, which included over 600 weekly podcast consumers, noted that YouTube’s rise to prominence was influenced by a change in the definition of podcast consumption introduced in April 2022. This change allowed participants who exclusively watch podcasts to take part in the survey. Since then, between 8% and 10% of the weekly podcast audience reported consuming podcasts solely through video.

“The platform findings in the report are fascinating and challenge some of the conventional wisdom we’ve seen in the industry regarding podcast destinations,” Signal Hill Insights Chief Insights Officer and Partner Paul Riismandel says.

“What we’ve seen is that the YouTube preference is utilitarian. Podcasting is still a multi-platform world, consistent with our heterogenous digital media consumption ecosystem. Consumers stick with YouTube for the video, community, comments, and recommendations but platform exclusivity is less important, as we see podcast consumers also listening to their YouTube shows elsewhere.”

The survey findings demonstrate an equal preference for watching and listening to podcasts, with 39% favoring the audio-only experience, 25% enjoying listening while minimizing or playing the video in the background, and 36% actively watching while listening. Notably, the percentage of respondents who prefer actively watching podcasts has increased from 28% in the previous wave of the study conducted in October 2022.

Unsurprisingly, when it comes to the ability to watch podcasts in addition to listening, YouTube holds a significant lead with 59% of respondents associating this capability with the platform, compared to 14% for Spotify and 11% for Apple Podcasts.

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Fox News, MSNBC, CNN All See Declines in Iowa Caucus Coverage Compared to 2020

The top 3 cable news networks experienced a drop of nearly 44% in its coverage of the Iowa Caucus compared to 2020.

Doug Pucci

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A photo of the Fox News, MSNBC, and CNN logos

The first presidential primary race of 2024 was certain high importance in the realm of national politics, but our very nation definitely had other priorities to watch on that particular evening.

For the 8-11 PM Eastern prime time period of Monday’s (Jan. 15) Iowa caucuses for the Republican primary, the three major cable news networks — Fox News Channel, MSNBC and CNN — combined to draw 4.77 million viewers, including a range between 758,000 thru 794,000 within the key 25-54 demographic (more exact demo data, to come), according to Nielsen Media Research.

That represents declines of 44 percent in total viewers and at least 62 percent among adults 25-54 from the Feb. 3, 2020 Iowa Democratic caucuses (8.48 million viewers / 2.1 million adults 25-54). There were even steeper losses of 53 percent (in total audience) and 75 percent (in 25-54 demo) when compared to the 2016 Iowa Democratic and Republican caucuses (10.16 million viewers / 3.15 million a customdults 25-54, from Feb. 1, 2016).

Several key factors were involved in this significant downward showing in the ratings. Unlike the two most recent Iowa races, the 2024 Iowa caucus took place opposite an NFL wild card playoff game (Philadelphia-Tampa Bay on ABC and ESPN: 27.8 million) and the Primetime Emmy Awards (Fox: 4.46 million). Also, the results of Donald Trump’s clear win over Ron DeSantis and Nikki Haley occurred at about 8:30 PM Eastern, whereas they were more uncertain as the nights progressed, respectively, in the 2016 and 2020 Iowa election results.

Furthermore, while cable news has experienced lesser year-over-year viewing level declines compared to the other cable and broadcast networks, the erosion of the total amount of U.S. cable subscribers continues to accelerate after each passing year. According to analytical company MoffettNathanson, 75.5 million are subscribed as of Mar. 2023 — the lowest amount since 1992.

Breaking down the prime time averages by network:

  • Fox News Channel (1/15/2024): 2.885 million viewers; range: 416,000-429,000 adults 25-54
  • Fox News Channel (2/3/2020): 4.249 million viewers; 759,000 adults 25-54
  • Fox News Channel (2/1/2016): 4.461 million viewers; 1.16 million adults 25-54
  • MSNBC (1/15/2024): 1.179 million viewers; range: 144,000-156,000 adults 25-54
  • MSNBC (2/3/2020): 2.468 million viewers; 609,000 adults 25-54
  • MSNBC (2/1/2016): 1.968 million viewers; 594,000 adults 25-54
  • CNN (1/15/2024): 0.707 million viewers; range: 197,000-209,000 adults 25-54
  • CNN (2/3/2020): 1.764 million viewers; 701,000 adults 25-54
  • CNN (2/1/2016): 3.730 million viewers; 1.39 million adults 25-54

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Fox News Is the Top Destination Coverage on the Russia-Ukraine War

According to Nielsen Media Research, Fox News outperformed CNN and MSNBC in the key 25-54 demographic and the 18-49 demo across the day and in primetime.

Ryan Hedrick

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FOX News

FOX News is the top destination for breaking news coverage of the war in Ukraine and is the most-watched network in all cable across all categories and dayparts.

According to Nielsen Media Research, Fox News outperformed CNN and MSNBC in the key 25-54 demographic and the 18-49 demo across the day and in primetime.

FNC has averaged 2.2 million viewers and 474,000 in the 25-54 demo since the start of the conflict, earning double-digit percent advantages over CNN across the board and widening to triple-digit advantages over MSNBC.

FNC continues to surpass the cable news competition in primetime, garnering 3.4 million viewers and 725,000 in the demo, again besting CNN by double digits and MSNBC by triple digits in all categories. From 8-11 PM/ET, FNC even outdrew broadcast networks NBC in overall viewers.

Fox News comprises over half of the cable news share in total day and primetime viewership.

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Kelly Frank Named President, GM of CBS News Stations in Philadephia

Frank will begin her new role in the Philadelphia market beginning April 4th. 

Eduardo Razo

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CBS News affiliates in Philadelphia will have new leadership. CBS News has appointed Kelly Frank as the president and general manager of CBS News and Stations’ local businesses in Philadelphia, including KYW-TV (CBS 3), WPSG-TV (The CW Philly), the CBS News Philly streaming channel, and CBSPhilly.com.

“I am excited and deeply honored to have the opportunity to join CBS News and Stations at such a transformative time and work with the top-flight team at CBS Philly,” Frank said. 

“I love the rich history and diversity that exists in Philadelphia, both at KYW and in the community. I look forward to joining the team and embracing all that makes Philly so special.”

Frank is coming over from the CBS Television Network affiliate in Tampa, Fla., where she served as the director of content at WTSP-TV since 2018. She’ll begin her new role in the Philadelphia market beginning April 4th. 

“Kelly is a proven leader who is highly regarded by her peers, and she has done a terrific job of leading the news team at our CBS affiliate in Tampa, where they have grown their audience across all platforms,” Wendy McMahon, president, and co-head, CBS News and Stations, said. 

“We look forward to having Kelly draw on her wide range of experience as she helps us build on CBS Philly’s legacy of community service.”

Kelly will bring plenty of experience to her new position. Her career has made stops at CNN, working as an executive producer, a director of news and digital content at WBNS-TV, and the executive producer of evening news WTTG-TV in Washington, D.C.

“I have had the pleasure of knowing Kelly for almost my entire career, going back to when we worked together at WCMH in Columbus,” Roark said. “Kelly has established herself as an innovator who has successfully modernized and transformed the traditional broadcast news operation into a multiplatform content engine,” Adrienne Roark, president, CBS Stations, said.

“In addition to being a true journalist, Kelly is a tremendous coach, mentor and motivator. And above all, Kelly is someone who leads with empathy and supports her work family. Her wonderful combination of experience and heart will make her a great fit for our team in Philadelphia.”

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