Can You Target an Older Audience With a Branded Podcast?

Does this medium really work for folks 55 and up?

If your brand caters to older adults, and your team has considered a branded podcast, you might be wondering if spoken audio is actually appropriate for your target audience.

This is a totally fair concern, and this isn’t the first time we’ve encountered it — but is it really legitimate?
In this post, we aim to answer this question, and give you the data you need to create a content marketing plan that’s built for your ideal audience.

(Or in other words, a plan that actually works.)

Yes, the podcast is a relatively new medium — and a new addition to the content marketer’s toolkit — but does this mean it’s best reserved for a younger audience?

Instead of jumping to conclusions, let’s defer to the facts.

The vital stats

For these purposes, we’ll say that “older adults” are folks aged 55 and up. (Because 50 is the new 30, right?!)

Let’s see where this group lands when it comes to consumption stats…

In the latest edition of The Infinite Dial, we see that folks in this demographic are major consumers of online audio, including ebooks, radio, and other streamed content.

In fact, more than half of this age group consumes online audio on a monthly basis.

Looking more specifically at podcasts, we can see that 20% of older adults say they’re tuning in at least once a month.

What’s more, 33% of monthly listeners are between 35 and 54, which means that folks over 34 account for more than half of regular podcast listeners across the US.

Clearly, the podcast has its hooks into folks of all ages, and is by no means reserved for or exclusively enjoyed by a younger demographic.

 

A growing audience

Comparing these numbers to those of ten years prior, we can see that the 55-plus podcast listenership is a rapidly growing market.

Since 2012, the percentage of monthly listeners has risen from 14 to 20 — a promising stat for those looking to reach an older audience with a branded podcast.

Learn how to measure the ROI of your podcast. 

Reaching for devices

Considering the stats above, we imagine you’re one step closer to taking the leap with your own branded show…

Now, you might be wondering what the best approach is to getting your series out there, and into the devices of an older demographic.

Obviously, social media is one of the most effective and widely applied methods for distributing this kind of content — but what platform will be best for this purpose?

Well, this is always a process of trial and error, and should be tailored to the nature of your show, your niche, and your precise demographic, but let’s explore the stats.

The Infinite Dial reported that, of folks aged 55 and up, Facebook is far and away the statistical favorite.

In fact, 77% of this age group says they spend the most time on this enduring platform — with only 23% claiming to prefer another social website or app.

Clearly, Facebook is a tool you’ll want in your podcast promotion toolkit — and it can really help you streamline this process.

If you decide to go this route, you’ll want to take advantage of both paid and organic promo opportunities, while leveraging scheduled posts and their easy-to-read analytics.

The big picture

If we consider the big picture and the overarching timeline here, none of this should come as a huge surprise.

Much like Facebook, podcasting rose to popularity nearly 20 years ago, at a time when these “older adults” — many of whom were raised on radio — were around 35 and up.

Bearing this in mind, we’re looking at a demographic that would have been prime candidates to land among the earliest fans and adapters of the modern podcast.

And so, folks now in the “older adult” bracket may very well be among the longest-standing, most enduring fans of spoken audio content.

Could you ask for a better audience?

Why not?

Granted, we are a bit biased, but if you’re wondering if you should debut a branded podcast for an older target audience, our answer is probably clear…

Why the heck not?!

The latest stats suggest this is a great idea — depending on your budget and the nature of your work — and they really drive home what we love about podcasts.

This is a medium that is flexible, adaptable, and accessible enough to appeal to a wide array of audiences…

Perhaps yours should be next.

If you’re launching a podcast and want to learn more about attracting listeners, check out our Ultimate Guide to Podcast Audience Growth

Ready to dive deeper still? Here are some more resources you can check out…

Learn how to measure the ROI of your podcast.