What Brands Can Learn From Today’s History Podcast Fans

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Think you know the typical podcast listener? Think again. They are anything but typical…they are in fact, extraordinary. In this series, we’ll dig deep into who’s really between those earbuds and what makes them a great audience for your messaging.

Legit history buff? Slept through AP History? There’s a podcast out there that’s sure to pique anyone’s curiosity. Podcasts are making history cool, blurring the lines between education and entertainment. 

The sizable history genre ranges from niche, highly-focused shows to broad-appealing titles such as Revisionist History, History of WWII, and Dan Carlin’s Hardcore History. Whether it’s to learn something new or explore a topic they’re passionate about, listeners can’t get enough of the content that’s out there. History has become a favorite among heavy podcast listeners, with 50% of heavy podcast listeners considering history to be in their top 5 genres.

The future of history podcasts looks good, so we wanted to know more about who’s listening to this content. We took a closer look at the data from the Nielsen Podcast Listener Buying Power service. Here’s what surprised us, what reaffirmed our current knowledge, and what we learned about their consumer habits. 

The average history listener may surprise you

While the overall podcast listener skews male, the history genre gives us a more balanced audience of nearly 50/50, with 53% of history listeners being male. The audience is also younger than we expected, with an average age of 39, 69% of the audience is in the 25-54 demo.

Not surprisingly they are more likely to be high-earners (average household income is nearly $100K), well-educated, and employed – not unlike the average podcast listener. Over 8 in 10 are employed and they are more likely to work in white-collar jobs in management, business, finance, computer, or engineering/science fields.

Messaging that fits into their lives motivates them

When it comes to actually breaking-through to this desirable audience, we discovered four trends that point to the brands and products that history fans are the most interested in.

Going green? So is the history listener. 69% participate in three or more eco-friendly activities on a regular basis. This audience is making a conscious effort in their day-to-day to support the causes they care about. They over-index for donating time or money, buying cleaning products that are good for the environment, and driving less or investing in a hybrid/electric vehicle.

In addition to living that green life, the history listener follows an active lifestyle. They are out there walking their dogs (45% of listeners own one), attending a yoga class, or hitting the gym. 

They are also hitting the road for both business and pleasure. History podcast listeners are more likely to have taken ten or more domestic air round trips in the last year, while their future vacation plans include hiking, taking a cruise, hitting the spa, or visiting a theme park.

As working professionals, history fans are all about convenience and like to have everything at their fingertips. They use their phones for entertainment, look out for their health, or to move their careers forward. Almost 70% have used their smartphone for online shopping in past 30 days.

The history listener also has some very big plans for the year ahead. In the next twelve months, they are more likely to have a baby, buy a second home, go back to school, or get married than the average podcast listener. Messaging that will help them get through these huge life events will resonate. 

All of these solid facts point to one conclusion. In delivering what could be considered by some to be an unexpected, attractive audience, the history genre may be worth a second look with a fresh set of eyes. This gender-balanced, younger audience may be just what your brand needs to make your sales soar. 

Nielsen’s Scarborough service has been a part of the media landscape for approximately 40 years. Last year, Nielsen re-contacted podcast listeners to capture detailed data on the 18 genres of podcast shows as well as individual programs.  This data is the Nielsen Podcast Listener Buying Power service with the most recent study released in December of 2019. The data available includes podcast genres such as True Crime, Society & Culture, Music, etc. as well as our shows Crime Junkie, So Money with Farnoosh Torabi, History of WWII and Swindled.

Is your curiosity piqued? Get in touch today to find the right audience for your message.  
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Source – Market/Release: Podcast Recontact Study (Listeners only) 2019 Release 1 Total (Jan 2018 – May 2019), History Genre Podcast Listeners, Adults 18+