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Podcasting News: Podcast Listeners Listen More, Cons for Podcasters

Edison Research released some early results from its updated fall 2014 Share of Ear survey of American listening habits. The big news is that podcast listeners now listen to more podcasts than any other kind of audio, which represents a significant change just from the spring report.

The average podcast listener spends six hours and eight minutes a day consuming audio, and 30% of that (110 minutes) is dedicated to podcasts. AM/FM radio, which had the number one spot last spring, is now in second place, making up 21% of listening. Additionally, Edison says that podcast listening amongst all listeners grew 18% from the spring to the fall.

To learn a little bit about the proclivities of one set of podcast listeners, take a look at the results from StartUp’s listener survey. A whopping 73% of respondents indicated they learned about StartUp from another podcast. Not surprisingly, more than half the referrals came from This American Life, which ran a version of the first episode as a segment. Geez, Ira Glass could probably auction off segments on his show to budding podcasters for a fortune, except for the fact that wouldn’t be cool with either the FCC or the public radio establishment.

Half of the StartUp respondents also say they listen to podcasts more than seven times a week.

Cons for Podcasters

There are two podcasting events coming up this year, both focused on the production side of things.

The New Media Expo is co-sited with the National Association of Broadcasters convention in Las Vegas for the first time this year; previous shows were held during the Consumer Electronics Show in January. The NMX highlights media makers working blogging, online video and podcasting and also features the 10th annual People’s Choice Podcast Awards. Nominations for the Podcast Awards are open now until Monday, February 2, at midnight, in twenty-two categories.

The Podcast Movement returns for second year, billing itself as “the world’s largest podcaster conference.” The conference happens August 1 and 2 in Fort Worth, Texas, and boasts Serial host/producer Sarah Koenig and Aisha Tyler of Girl on Guy amongst the keynote speakers. Registration opens on Monday, February 2.

NPR Podcast Directory

NPR just launched a new directory to help listeners find podcasts from the NPR family. The front page highlights well-known featured shows like Wait Wait… Don’t Tell Me and Fresh Air, and offers categories to browse, such as arts, business, comedy and technology.

It’s nice to see some member station shows that one might not otherwise know about, including the travel show Journeys of Discovery with Tom Wilmer from KCBX in California’s Central Coast and Commodity Week from WILL in Urbana, IL. However, the categories really aren’t quite fine-grained enough, nor are the shows well organized within a category. Browsing the arts category yields what seems like hundreds of podcasts in no discernible order, mostly without even any cover art to serve as a guide.

But, like everything on the web, the directory is a work in progress, and NPR promises more features to come next month.

We cover news and analysis of podcasting every Wednesday in our Podcast Survivor feature.

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