Podcasts have become a main content delivery platform in the last decade. Since not enough studies examined the wider population adoption patterns of podcasts in general and outside the USA in particular, the purpose of this paper is to examine the socio-demographics of podcast listeners and the uses and gratifications fulfilled by listening to podcasts using Israel’s most popular podcast as our case study.
The authors uploaded a survey on the podcast platforms aiming to identify their socio-demographic profiles of listeners (n=960) and where they listen to the podcast. Next, the authors conducted follow-up interviews with 100 respondents to understand their main uses and gratifications fulfilled while listening to the podcast.
The findings of this survey indicate podcast listeners in Israel as mostly male, with self-reported high income, under the age of 45, highly educated and nearly half work in the high-tech sector. Follow-up interviews identified that the main uses and gratifications from listening to podcasts were cognitive – acquiring new knowledge, social – a desire to share new data with friends, entertainment, hobby and a way to assist falling asleep.
The findings of this study indicate that access to podcasts in Israel is utilized mostly by members of already advantaged and technology-oriented groups, thus potentially widening existing societal gaps.
The study examines the podcast adoption in a country whose podcast adoption patterns were not yet explored, thus contributes toward mapping of the global usage of podcasts. It portrays podcasts in Israel as a platform used mostly by members of privileged and technology-oriented groups, which is similar to findings regarding the demographics of podcast listeners in the USA. Some of the uses and gratifications are similar to that in the USA while others, such as the desire to share knowledge and efficient time management, are unique and reflect the impact of the local culture and conditions on podcast adoption.
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