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Listen up! Research reveals podcast listeners are big spenders

Podcast listeners vastly outspend their peers according to a recent UK study commissioned by global strategic podcast agency 4DC. This study looks at the spending habits of podcast listeners, a huge audience, as according to Ofcom, the UK podcast industry has nearly doubled in listener size in five years from 3.2 million people in 2013 to 5.9 million in 2018.

Key findings

  • Podcast listeners outspend non-podcast listeners in every area and millennial listeners outspend their peers by as much as 179%
  • A quarter (24%) of podcast listeners are more likely to choose a sustainable brand, compared to 15% of non-listeners
  • Nine in ten (90%) listen to podcasts alone and nearly everybody (93%) who starts a podcast will finish it

With an increasing listener base amongst an audience with high spending power, brands are utilising power of podcasting. Brands including Netflix, McDonald’s, Nike, Microsoft and Love Island have all issued their own branded podcasts.

Spending power

Millennial podcast listeners outspend their peers by up to 179% and podcast listeners in all age groups outspend non-listeners.

As an example, when it comes to insurance and healthcare, podcast listeners spend an average of £10 per month on vitamins, 117% more than non-listeners. Podcast listeners also spend a third (33%) more each month than non-listeners on a gym membership, proving that the healthcare market is one of many that is well placed to take advantage of this growing trend.

Discussing how brands can best use podcasts, Howard Kosky, CEO of 4DC, says: Podcasts represent a huge, untapped opportunity for PROs. The medium is a clear evolution of talk radio, and thus podcast outreach firmly sits within the PR landscape. Increasingly, existing podcasts are having important conversations that brands are keen to be involved in – about both issues and products. Our research indicates that the podcast audience is receptive and ready to listen. This is a massive and still largely untapped opportunity for PROs.”

Kosky concludes that podcast marketing is a great way to reach younger consumers: “Not only are podcast audiences growing, but the demographic that is experiencing the most rapid expansion are the elusive Gen Zs. If PROs want to engage this elusive audience, podcasts need to be embraced. At its core, podcasting is intimate storytelling – and storytelling is the heart of public relations.”


The research was conducted by Opinion Matters, with 3,126 respondents (1,112 non-podcast listeners and 2,014 podcast listeners) aged 16+ in GB between 08.03.2019 – 13.03.2019.

For comparison, or to fill any data blanks, 4DC looked at other markets – primarily the USA – to understand, predict and speculate as to how the UK podcasting scene might develop.

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