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What Can We Learn From the Latino Podcast Listener Report?

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In August Edison Research published its 3rd annual Latino Podcast Listener Report. The report is packed with valuable information on who these listeners are and how they consume podcasts. Taking the time to utilize this information can help expand the reach of YOUR podcast listenership significantly. And it can also make podcasting a more inclusive space for Latino listeners as a whole.

What Is the Latino Listener Report?

The Latino Podcast Listener Report is a yearly report compiled by Edison Research. This is the third year the report has been published. Basically, in June 2022 they online interviewed 2,500 U.S. Hispanic/Latino adults age 18+. The interviews were offered in English and Spanish, as is the final report itself. A couple of months later, on August 15, 2022, Gabriel Soto, Senior Director of Research at Edison Research, and Elsie Escobar, Community Manager at Libsyn held an online webinar to share the study findings.

The written report is 48 pages long and a visual walkthrough of the findings. In fact, many of the screenshots in this post are from the report itself. However, there is far too much in this report to cover in one post, so I’m going to focus on the listener moments that are most relevant in making your podcast more inclusive and more discoverable to this population. If this post interests you, you can do these actions to learn more

  • read the full report
  • watch the webinar
  • attend Libsyn’s September 15th Multilingual Meet Up

Who Are These Latino Podcast Listeners?

The 2,500 Latino Podcast Listeners were 18 years old or older. In the webinar, we quickly learned that half of them were between the ages of 18 to 34 years old. That’s a very young listening population. And although they live in the United States, only 75% of them were born in the U.S. This means that 25% of them were born outside of the U.S. This may mean that there are varying degrees of connection with their Latino cultural roots. Does this mean that they’re more Americanized than the U.S. Latinos who weren’t born in the U.S.?

Slide showing "Generation of U.S. Latino monthly podcast listeners" 

25% born outside the U.S. 
48% U.S. born 1st generation
14% U.S. born 2nd generation
13% U.S. born 3rd generation

Digging deeper into the 75% of Latino monthly podcast listeners (chart above), nearly half of them (48%) are U.S-born 1st generation. Edison defines 1st generation as having “at least one immigrant parent.”

Both Gabriel and Elsie said they were pleasantly surprised that 17% of the Latino listeners identified as being LGBTQ+. This is a new self-identifier that Edison is tracking in 2022, so there isn’t any internal comparison data yet.

17% of U.S. Latino Monthly Podcast Listeners identify as LGBTQ+

Your Podcast Can Help With Cultural Isolation

I’m not Latino. But I am a hyphenated American. So I need to mention the social challenges that can sometimes happen when you’re the first in your family to be “from” a country. This potential cultural isolation can be bridged by the intimacy and community aspects of podcasting. You can grow your audience by intentionally inviting these Latino podcast listeners into your podworld. And at the same time, you can help them feel less alone while they juggle two cultures. Please note that this is a projection of my Italian-American experience and isn’t mentioned in the report or the webinar.

Create a Podcast Language Leap Frog Experience

Is your podcast in the English language? If so, you might think you have little to offer these listeners. Don’t. This report showed that despite their connection to Latino culture, the majority of podcasts that these listeners consumed were in English. To be exact, 51% of U.S. Latinos listened to a mostly English podcast. In contrast, only 33% of them listened to a podcast that was mostly in Spanish.

slide about podcast listening language habits. 
51% of U.S. Latinos have ever listened to a podcast that was mostly in English
33% of U.S. Latinos have ever listened to a podcast that was mostly in Spanish

Why Arent Latino Listeners Consuming Podcasts in Spanish?

In the video interviews (53:03 to 55:53), the Latino listeners mentioned a few reasons their primary podcast listening content was English, not Spanish.

  • the listening platform pre-selects the content language as English
  • their Spanish language level was okay but not extensive enough to keep up with quick podcast conversations
  • not knowing where to find podcasts in Spanish with the content they like to listen to

How Can Podcasters Create a Spanish Podcast Bridge for Latino Listeners?

Elsie herself heard about a Spanish language podcast through her favorite pen podcast. That pen podcast was in English. Even so, they shared a Spanish language pen podcast with their listeners. Elsie urged podcasters who are publishing in English to “be a bridge” for these U.S.-based Latino listeners. Literally, create a connection between your podcast topic in English to a podcast in that same content area in the Spanish language. Many of you are in Facebook podcasting groups. These are fantastic places to connect and collaborate with Spanish-English bilingual podcasters who produce podcasts in Spanish. I know for a fact that there are some Podcraft community members who publish podcasts in Spanish. Feel free to join us in Podcraft.

Is a YouTube Video a Podcast?

As podcasters, we can argue about if a video podcast is a podcast or not. But listeners don’t pay attention to these classifications like we do. Instead, they find the content they want to consume and, well, consume it. This is true for podcast listeners in general. This study confirms that it’s also true for these Latino podcast listeners.

Screenshot of one of the Latino listeners video interviews. Yadira, 56, talks about who she wants to hear a podcast with, Nicky Jam from Puetro Rico.
When asked which Latino celebrity she’d like to hear in a podcast, this was Yadira’s reply.

Listener Podcasting Context Vary Widely

During the webinar (34:24 to 36:55) a sample of the Latino podcast listeners shared their experiences. They covered where they listen to podcasts, when they listen and what they listen to. These experiences varied widely. For example, Celene, 28, and Lucia, 29 mentioned listening to news podcasts early in the morning. Whereas Carmina, 41, and Will, 27, both mentioned religious podcasts that they listen to often. Interestingly, Carlos, 42, said that when he’s away from him he listens to audio podcasts. However, when he’s at home he listens to podcasts in video format more.

They Were Exposed to Podcasts on YouTube FIRST

However, one of the biggest surprises in this study was the number of listeners who knew podcasts from YouTube. Actually, the concept of “YouTube-first” was mentioned a few times during the webinar. With good reason. Comparing the listener responses in the 2021 study versus the 2022 study, they discovered that there was a 1% decrease in listening to audio-only without any video. Whereas both of the video-first podcast listening situations shown in the chart below clearly show a 6% increase in video contexts.

slide "Do you ever listen to podcasts that have..." asking about video podcast listening

Audio only without any video (79 in 2021, 28 in 2022)

video that you actively watch while listening (70 in 2021 and 76 in 2022)

video that you play in the background or minimize on your device while listening (60 in 2021 and 66 in 2022)

I bet you’ve been hearing that podcasts need to be on YouTube a lot recently. This is even more true for this very young, very active Latino listenership. In the webinar, Elsie encouraged podcasters to teach these podcast viewers how to find audio. She said we need to be making content in video format that shows them HOW to find audio-only content on audio-only platforms.

This Is the Tip of the Podcast Iceberg

As mentioned before, these brief highlights are just the tip of the podcast iceberg. Digging into the report or watching the webinar will give you a much deeper view of the study findings.

And don’t forget, there’s a follow-up to the Latino Listener Report webinar. The Multilingual Podcasters Meetup is happening on Sept 15, 2022, from 6:00 – 8:00 pm New York time.

Now it’s time for you, the indy podcaster, to decide how you’ll use this information. We hope you will take on board some of the calls to action that Gabriel and Elsie put forth in the webinar.

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