2020 PodFest China Survey: A Look at Chinese Podcast Listeners

PodFest China Releases “2020 Survey: A Look at Chinese Podcast Listeners”

Shanghai, China – May 6th, 2020 – PodFest China, China’s first annual podcast-themed conference host releases the country’s first survey on podcast listeners. Titled “2020 Survey: A Look at Chinese Podcast Listeners,” the report presents a full picture of Chinese podcast listeners—their profiles, listening preferences, content consumption behavior, attitudes towards podcast advertising and more.

Click here to download the full report.

Key findings:

  • Are the days gone where audio content is largely consumed for self-education? The survey shows that to satisfy curiosity and learn new things is the number one (88.5%) reason for podcasting listening, followed by for hobby/interest (71.4%), and to learn practical knowledge/skills (47.8%).
  • While less than 20% of Chinese netizens hold a college degree, 86.4% of podcast listeners surveyed hold a bachelor’s degree or higher.
  • While podcasting is a relatively new form of media in China, more than half (50.5%) of respondents say they listen to podcasts every day.
  • A majority of respondents (87.8%) embrace ad-supported podcasts, with 50.7% of all respondents admitting their purchase decision has been influenced at least once by a podcast show.


Keep reading for more details.

68.2% of all respondents (n=977) live in China’s Top 20 cities, with Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, Shenzhen and Hangzhou being the top 5 concentrated cities. 88.5% percent of respondents are under age 35, while 86.4% percent hold a bachelor’s degree or above.

In terms of podcast listening history and frequency, 56.6% started listening to podcasts within the last three years, while 50.5% of respondents now tune in every day. The most popular podcast listening device is smartphones, and the most widely used mobile phones are Apple’s iPhones. The top three occasions of podcast listening are during public transit (53.9%), during leisure time (51.8%) and during housework or chores (48.8%).

The survey reveals that Apple Podcasts is the most popular podcast app in China, followed by audio content platforms – Ximalaya FM and NetEase Cloud Music. It is worth noting that 72.5% of the respondents are accustomed to using podcatcher or directory-based podcast app developed by international companies, rather than domestic audio platforms.

To satisfy curiosity, for interest/hobby and gaining knowledge/skills are the top three reasons for podcast listening. New podcasts are mainly discovered through podcast apps (70.3%), search engines (59.8%), and various social media platforms. Recommendations from hosts, guests and influencers in niche fields are also important for making listening decisions. Nearly one-third of respondents declare they maintain a fan-type state-of-mind towards the hosts/guests. Nearly eighty percent say they have searched for relevant subjects mentioned in the show or have recommended shows to friends.

70.2% of respondents say they have spent less time on music, audiobooks, pay-for-knowledge and other audio content due to listening to podcasts. 88.5% of respondents mention they have paid directly for content in the past. 50.7% admit that their purchase decisions have been influenced by a podcast show.

While asked about their attitude toward podcast advertising, the vast majority show support, with 34.2% of respondents indicate “very supportive” and 53.6% indicate “supportive”. As for how the advertising should be incorporated, more than half (51.6%) vote for pre-roll or post-roll ads.

How This Study Was Conducted

“2020 Survey: A Look at Chinese Podcast Listeners” is based upon a questionnaire survey of 977 persons, conducted in March 2020. Only listeners who have listened to podcasts at least once in the past six months were eligible to participate. The questionnaire was distributed through social media, as well as WeChat groups and Telegram groups of the following Chinese podcasting companies and programs: JustPod, Sheng FM, “Story FM”, “Midnightalks”, “DAO Podcast”, “Bowuzhi/Muséelogue”, “Anyway FM”, “Fun Factory Talk”, “The Steve Shi Experience”, and “The Unemployable”.

About PodFest China

PodFest China is the first podcast-themed conference in China, co-founded by Rebecca Kanthor, Jingai (Anita) Xu and Yang Yi in 2019. Bringing together top podcasters, audio producers, content distributors and fans together, PodFest China is committed to creating an active, resource-sharing network through a series of events and workshops for Chinese podcasters to exchange ideas and best practices. The first-ever PodFest China conference was successfully held in January 2019 in Shanghai, followed by an audio workshop in June.

For more information, visit www.podfestchina.com.