Podcasts are not a recent innovation, but with the impact of the pandemic, technological advancements, and people’s increasing need to fill fragmented time, they have steadily become a global trend. The podcast industry in Taiwan is growing, with more creators and listeners joining the scene. 

Who exactly are these listeners, and what significant business potential does the podcasting market hold? The latest survey results released by z.com Engagement Lab in May, provides a comprehensive look into Taiwan’s evolving podcast landscape.

Taiwanese podcast listeners: predominantly male, younger audiences

The survey showed that 60% of respondents were aware of podcasts (58.6%), and nearly half of the population had listened to them. Among these listeners, 24.5% had been tuning in this month. The majority of them were male (56.3%), primarily aged between 16-30 (33.8%) and 31-40 (28.8%), with an average listening experience of one and a half years.

For the choice of podcast platforms, YouTube (45.2%) stood out as the majority’s choice. With a large user base in Taiwan and high familiarity, the appeal of visual elements and YouTube’s content recommendation system had helped attract more podcast listeners. The survey found that many podcast creators simultaneously uploaded video versions of their podcasts on YouTube alongside the audio-only versions on podcast platforms. Other popular platforms in Taiwan included Spotify (29.9%), Apple Podcasts (24.7%), Google Podcasts (18.8%), and KKBOX (15.3%).

Main motivation to listen to podcasts: entertainment and learning

As indicated in the survey results, the primary motives for listeners were to enjoy interesting or entertaining content (83.6%), and to gain knowledge (82.9%). Convenience stood as the third significant factor that made podcasts become more popular, as over 80% of respondents mentioned that they appreciate podcast’s capability to access content anytime, anywhere (82.4%). Lastly, four-fifths of listeners listened to podcasts to fill their spare time (81.0%). 

Respondents also enjoyed podcasts in various scenarios: over half of them listened to podcasts while resting at home (54.9%), and about two-fifths listened while using public transportation (44.4%), or doing household chores (38.0%). Other circumstances included mealtimes, work, study, bedtime, driving, and biking. Only around one in ten listeners allocated specific time (13.5%) for podcast listening.


Listening habits: loyalty and weekly engagement

For frequency of podcast’s usage, over 90% of respondents said they engaged with podcasts on a weekly basis, whereas nearly 30% of them listened five to seven days per week (26.9%), and 48.6% of them tuned in two to four days per week. The average duration of listening ranged from 31 to 60 minutes (50.4%), with a mean of 45.5 minutes. Approximately 80% of respondents reported a few favorite shows they chose to listen to regularly, with usually 1 to 3 shows on their checklist. 

Respondents also displayed varied interests in programs, ranging from entertainment, movies, and pop culture (36.7%), business and finance (35.9%), 3C technology (33.8%), news and politics (30.7%), to comedy or talk shows (29.2%). 

Language learning (26.0%) and career development/ personal growth/ professional knowledge (24.3%) programs were also popular among the respondents, indicating a strong demand for self-improvement opportunities to learn more knowledge and skills. Regardless of the podcast shows’ themes, the respondents’ favorite programs, on the other hand, often featured hosts with distinct personal characteristics, such as “Gooaye,” “Bailingguo News,” “Froggychiu,” “Lady Flavors,” etc.

Podcast advertising: positive perception and willingness to pay among listeners

Respondents generally held a positive attitude towards podcast advertising, with most not minding ads in the shows, accepting ads to support free programming, and believed that ads do not affect their listening experience. Over half of them maintained that a host’s recommendation might increase their goodwill and trust in the promoted product or brand (52.5%), while about half of them believed podcast advertising was an excellent way to promote a product (48.7%) and showed willingness to share product or service information obtained from the programs with friends and family (46.7%).

Notably, the podcast industry exhibited vast potential, as one in ten listeners had purchased advertised products or services mentioned in the programs (10.9%), and four out of ten had considered purchasing them (40.2%). Despite this potential, advertisers and podcasters should be cautious, as nearly 60% of respondents believed that frequent recommendations of poor-quality products or services might lead to loss of trust from the audience. Moreover, 55.9% of listeners preferred ads that were related or similar to the program’s theme, and 49.8% preferred ads featuring user experiences or testimonials.

Seize the opportunity

The podcast market in Taiwan had great potential, with loyal and weekly engaged listeners who held positive attitudes toward advertising, as revealed by the statistics. In the report, z.com Engagement Lab suggested advertisers to actively partner with podcast programs featuring hosts with unique viewpoints and stand-out personalities. Programs that mixed knowledge and entertainment were predicted to be the most appealing content. Businesses could also take advantage of this by using podcasts for brand promotion, effectively advertising their products while building a strong brand image. For podcast creators, z.com Engagement Lab also advised them to choose recommended products, ensuring they are relevant to the content and of high quality to maintain trust with the audience.

Execution by|z.com Engagement Lab 
Survey Date | May 24 and May 29, 2023
Methodology|Online survey
Target Group|Taiwan internet users aged 18-60
Sample Size|960
Editor|TNL Research
Reviewed by | Tatt Chen

The article first appeared in The News Lens Chinese Edition.

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TNL Editor: Kim Chan (@thenewslensintl)

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