As the news of the past few weeks has shown, the pandemic is not yet over. But as podcasters contemplate returning to the road in the New Year, there is fresh data suggesting listeners are ready to buy tickets to live events and tapings.

A MARU/Matchbox national survey commissioned by Cumulus Media finds over a third of weekly podcast listeners are interested in live events with podcasts. And among heavy podcast listeners – those that consume six or more hours of podcast content per week – interest levels are even higher.

Among all weekly podcast listeners, the survey finds 15% are “very” interested and another 22% are “somewhat” interested in attending a live event held by their favorite podcast during the coming six months. Among heavy podcast listeners, the data shows 21% are “very” interested and another 25% are “somewhat” interested in going to a live taping.

The survey was conducted from Sept. 30 to Oct. 29, prior to the emergence of the omicron virus strain, so it is not clear whether the latest setbacks in fighting COVID will impact listeners’ interest in live events.

Podcasters appear to be taking a return to the live stage slowly. Seat Geek currently shows few live podcast tapings on its calendar for the first half of 2022. Yet some shows are already appearing before audiences.