May 17, 2022

Journal Article: “Why People Listen: Motivations and Outcomes of Podcast Listening”

The article linked below was recently published by PLOS One.


Why People Listen: Motivations and Outcomes of Podcast Listening


Stephanie J. Tobin
Queensland University of Technology

Rosanna E. Guadagno
Stanford University


PLOS One 17(4): e0265806
DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0265806


The aim of this preregistered study was to identify dispositional predictors of podcast listening and examine the associations between aspects of podcast listening, dispositional predictors, and psychological outcomes. Three hundred and six adults from a range of countries completed an online questionnaire that assessed individual difference predictors (the Big Five personality factors, curiosity, need for cognition, need to belong, age, and gender), aspects of podcast listening (amount, format, setting, device, and social aspects), and potential outcomes (autonomy, competence, relatedness, meaning, mindfulness, and smartphone addiction). As predicted, openness to experience, interest-based curiosity, and need for cognition positively predicted podcast listening. Contrary to predictions, need to belong negatively predicted podcast listening, and time spent listening to podcasts was not associated with autonomy, competence, relatedness, meaning, mindfulness, or smartphone addiction. However, certain aspects of podcast listening (e.g., parasocial relationships and social engagement) were related to positive outcomes and to our predictor variables. Furthermore, neuroticism negatively predicted podcast listening. Overall, the findings support the idea that informational motives can play a role in podcast listening, and that some aspects of listening are associated with positive outcomes.

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About Gary Price

Gary Price ( is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.