It's the platform, stupid (-; the elitist nature of sport podcast listeners

Yair Galily, Tal Laor, Tal Samuel-Azran

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Purpose: Despite the ability of podcasts to bring free quality content to the masses, studies found that podcast consumption have been identified mostly with the elite class, thus increasing knowledge gaps and digital divides. This study aims to examine whether this trend extends to non-elitist podcast genres by providing the first analysis of sport podcast demographics and uses and gratifications. Design/methodology/approach: A survey was conducted among Israel’s three most popular sport podcast listeners (N = 503), examining the listeners’ demographics, consumption patterns and uses and gratifications driving them to listen to the podcast. Findings: The analysis reveals that most listeners are secular millennials males with above average income, highlighting the elitist nature of sport podcast consumers. The analysis further revealed that information-rich groups were more likely to tune in for information acquisition whereas other groups used it more for entertainment and escapist purposes. Practical implications: For policy makers and educators who wish to promote podcast-based initiatives to narrow social gaps, the analysis strengthens the notion that the podcast platform mostly attracts those who are already information rich and thus increase knowledge gaps and digital divides. For sport broadcasters, the analysis illuminates sport podcasts audiences’ demographics and their uses of the platform. Social implications: The study reflects that the podcast platform is identified with elitist listening even in non-elitist genres; thus it further increases the already wide knowledge gap and digital divides promoted by the advent of the podcast platform. Originality/value: The study is the first to highlight the elitist nature of sport podcast listeners’ demographics, indicating that the podcast platform increases the knowledge gap also even across non-elitist content genres such as sport content. Peer review: The peer review history for this article is available at: https://publons.com/publon/10.1108/OIR-12-2021-0684.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)906-924
Number of pages19
JournalOnline Information Review
Volume47
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - 29 Aug 2023

Keywords

  • Digital divide
  • Knowledge gap
  • Sport media
  • Sport podcasts
  • Uses and gratifications

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Information Systems
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Library and Information Sciences

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