Who is listening to TV-related podcasts – and what role do these podcasts play in the larger world of content?

We recently conducted a study to delve into these questions. This research included an online quantitative study of 1,500 TV viewers aged 13 to 54 in the US who either listen to TV podcasts or are open to listening.

Here are some key findings from this project:

Half of consumers have listened to a TV podcast — and a majority of those who haven’t are open to the idea. Among online Americans aged 13 to 54, 50% have listened to a TV-related podcast. Listeners tilt toward some demographics: male, age 25 to 44, Asian, African American.

Another 16% of the population has listened to other types of podcasts and would consider checking out TV-related podcasts. And beyond that, 18% of the population has never ventured into the world of podcasts but says they’re open to listening to one related to TV.

Comedy, true crime, drama, and horror are the top TV podcast genres. Among TV podcast listeners, the most popular genres are comedy (listened to by 48%), true crime (43%), drama (36%), and horror (33%).

TV podcasts help listeners understand and engage with shows more deeply. TV podcast listeners say their main reasons for doing so are to follow storylines better, have something to listen to while doing other things, feel more connected to the show, find out details they would otherwise have missed, and get a behind-the-scenes look.

Listening to TV podcasts enhance fans’ experience of a show. Listeners agree that TV podcasts make them want to tune into shows more (89%), help them keep up with shows (89%), give them more of a connection to the characters and/or cast (89%), and helps them discover shows and movies (88%).

These podcasts inspire fans to watch or re-watch the show (60%), talk about the show with friends and family (55%), search for more information about the cast (44%), and seek out information about off-screen talent (41%).

Familiar hosts with an inviting conversational style draw listeners in. Hosts play a crucial role in a podcast’s success. Around 9 out of 10 TV podcast listeners agree that they are more likely to give a new podcast a try if the host is familiar, that they like podcast hosts who are friends in real life, and that they feel like part of a conversation with podcast hosts.

What do listeners believe makes for a good podcast host? Authenticity, a nice voice, subject matter expertise, funny off-the-cuff banter, and openness to others’ opinions.

Podcasts are no longer just an audio experience. “Visual podcasts” are gaining momentum and expanding consumers’ perceptions – 92% agree that a podcast with visuals is still a podcast, and 62% agree that clips of podcasts on social media still count as podcasts.

Among TV podcast listeners, 71% have watched a visual podcast of any kind and 51% have seen a visual podcast about a TV show.

Visual podcasts have strong appeal for TV and other genres. 9 out of 10 TV podcast listeners are somewhat or very interested in visual podcasts in general – including TV podcasts.