I love listening to podcasts.
But I’m a fluke. In fact, marketers would call me an “outlier.”
That’s because I’m not the typical podcast listener — I don’t match up with the dominant age and gender for podcast listeners. It’s why authors and podcasts aren’t necessarily a match made in heaven.
Who listens to podcasts, then?
Here’s what Edison Research learned from its research, “The Podcast Consumer 2016.” Podcast listeners are:
- 56 percent male, 44 percent female.
- Half (49 percent) are between the ages of 12 and 34. (Soooo not me.)
- Affluent, with 41 percent enjoying an annual household income of $75,000 or more.
- Highly educated, with 29 percent claiming some grad school or a graduate degree and more than three-quarters with at least a year of college.
- Facebook users — 76 percent — with Instagram at 41 percent being the next most popular (which makes sense considering the younger demographics of Instagram users).
- Online radio listeners at 75 percent.
- More likely to be a Democrat (32 percent) or an Independent (26 percent) than a Republican (24 percent).
Why should you care?
Because a lot of authors — maybe you? — are talking about podcasts. They’re exploring starting a podcast as a book marketing tactic, and they’re talking about being interviewed as podcast guests.
But before you go down that path, make sure the target audience for your book fits those demographics and psychographics listed above. If the person who is most likely to buy your book is a young, affluent, well-educated man, then investing the time it takes to learn how to host a podcast, generate content, and promote each episode could be good use of your time.
If you write mysteries, though, think twice about hosting a podcast.
Why? If you participated in last night’s webinar, “Who Will Buy Your Book: How to Figure Out and Find Your Target Audience,” you learned that:
- 70 percent of mystery readers are female
- 47 percent are 55 or older
- 41 percent have $35,000-74,900 household income
It’s not a match, is it? (And by the way, if you want to watch the webinar replay, go ahead and register for the webinar after the fact and we’ll send you the replay link.)
What about being a guest?
I love talking about book marketing, so I accept nearly every podcast interview request I receive because the hosts are usually smart, interesting people and I have fun answering their questions and sharing tips and advice. I don’t care how many people do or don’t listen to the interview. Helping even five more authors is better than helping none.
If this is fun for you, too, then you might want to adopt my “accept all appropriate invitations” approach. You might even want to seek opportunities to be interviewed. You’ll get practice speaking. Plus, the questions you’re asked could inform your writing or generate blog topics.
If you don’t enjoy interviews and your target audience doesn’t listen to podcasts, then you can stop feeling guilty because you haven’t learned how to host your own or be a great guest. (What a relief, right?)
I do need to point out, too, that when it comes to demographics, none of this is hard and fast.
I mentioned at the beginning of this post that I listen to podcasts regularly and yet I don’t fit the profile. (Only 11 percent of the people in my age range are podcast listeners.) So, your podcast or guest interview might reach outliers like me anyway.
But if the demographics don’t line up, don’t make it the focus of your book marketing. You always want to go where your audience is already. It’s much easier than trying to bring them to you.
Let’s do a little authors and podcasts research of our own! In the comments, please answer this question: Do you listen to podcasts? and add your gender and age. Yes/no, age, gender.
We’ll see if we have a few more outliers in the group! Thanks!