There are so many podcast statistics, facts and trends circulating, from listener numbers to industry size. It’s hard to know where to start. So, to make your life easy, I thought I’d bring as many podcast industry stats together here, for your reading pleasure.
I’ll keep this article up to date as new reports come out. Therefore, below, you should find the latest numbers, according to the podcast industry.
So, let’s get into it. Here are the questions we’ll cover. Take your pick!
Podcast Industry Statistics
How Many Podcasts Are There, Right Now?
In total, how many podcasts are there in the world, right now?
There are 4,250,179 total podcasts registered, around the world.podcastindex.org – October 2023
This is down from 4,449,114 (-8%) in December 2021 (though it’s on the rise again!).
So where did almost 200,000 podcasts go?
We reached out to the Podcast Index to ask if they’d changed anything at their end. In short, they’ve tightened up their criteria on what gets considered to be a valid podcast.
Unsurprisingly, there were a lot of “hey, is this thing on!?” 20-second 1-episode “podcasts” out there on the free hosting platforms. The new criteria are that shows must have at least three episodes (one is often a trailer), and at least one of those episodes has to be 3 minutes long.
So now that we know the total number of podcasts, let’s look at one of the most in-demand of podcast statistics: how many of them are registered in the biggest listening platform – Apple?
Apple Podcasts hosts 2,633,545 podcasts as of October 2023Podcast Industry Insights courtesy of Daniel J. Lewis
This is up from 2,332,900 (+13%) in September 2021. To show growth over the past few years, here’s what Apple announced at WWDC in 2018:
In 2018 there were 550,000 active podcasts on iTunesApple, WWDC 2018
There are currently over 87,667,963 episodes published in Apple Podcasts, as of October 2023Podcast Industry Insights courtesy of Daniel J. Lewis
This is up from 52,990,000 (+39%) in June 2021. Again, to compare, these stats came from Apple at WWDC in 2018:
In 2018 there were 18.5 millions episodes published, totalApple, WWDC 2018
How Many Active Podcasts Are There?
The stats show that 17.47% of the podcasts on Apple Podcasts are currently active. That means they’ve released a new episode in the past 90 days.
There are currently 460,080 active podcasts on Apple Podcasts, as of October 2023Podcast Industry Insights courtesy of Daniel J. Lewis
- Down from 755,715 in June 2021
- Down from 548,447 in December 2021
- Down from 512,480 in April 2022
- Up from 459,11 in November 2022
- Up from 449,041 in January 2023
- Down from 474,230 in May 2023
The percentage of active podcasts has dropped from 59% in December 2020 to 17% in October 2023
This seems a pretty massive drop in activity in under two years. But we’ve seen signs of recovery in 2023.
Here are the recent stats, on a percentage basis.
- December 2020: 59% active podcasts
- March 2021: 37% active podcasts
- June 2021: 34% active podcasts
- December 2021: 23% active podcasts
- April 2022: 21% active podcasts
- November 2022: 18% active podcasts
- January 2023: 17.7% active podcasts
- May 2023: 18.4% active podcasts
- July 2023: 19% active podcasts
So, what happened?
There was certainly a huge increase in new podcasts during the early stages of the pandemic. 2020 was a bumper year for growth as potential podcasters found more time and space to create, and therefore, turned into active podcasters. Combine that with companies turning more to digital to either market themselves, or to communicate with staff, and you have a podcasting growth spiral the likes of which we’ve never seen.
But, now – with everyone back to “normal” work and life – many of those podcasters have lost enthusiasm, and internal podcasting projects have been abandoned. So, the 2020 boom raised our numbers, and now many of those shows have turned inactive.
Now, we are seeing things stabilising and podcasting resuming the slow, steady growth it always experienced in “normal” times. This puts an end to the claims that folks were “giving up” on podcasting.
There continues to be growth in the simple act of knowing what a podcast is, year on year:
79% of people in the US are familiar with the concept of Podcasting
Up from 75% in 2020, 78% in 2021, & 79% in 2022Infinite Dial 2023
What Does This Mean?
“Familiarity” doesn’t necessarily mean that the respondent has listened to a podcast, or even really knows how podcasts work, but that they have been exposed to the term.
As podcasts grow in their references in more traditional media and enter general conversations, so too will we see growth in familiarity; it’s a good benchmark for analyzing entry into the mainstream consciousness and out of the podcaster bubble. Indeed, this year, familiarity continues to rise at a rapid pace, with more than 3 out of 4 Americans now aware of the term “podcast”.
How Many People Listen to Podcasts in 2023?
Familiarity is one thing, but how many people have actually gone ahead and listened to a podcast?
Well, in mid-2023, new data from Edison Research revealed that, for the first time ever, on-demand audio (like podcasts and streaming music) has leapfrogged linear audio (like radio) when it comes to ear-time in America.
On top of this, here are the latest Infinite Dial stats, released early 2023.
64% of people in the US have listened to a Podcast, at least once
Up from 55% in 2020, 57% in 2021, & 62% in 2022Infinite Dial 2023
What Does This Mean?
Infinite Dial analyzes listenership in steps:
- Have ever listened to a podcast
- Monthly Podcast Listeners
- Weekly Podcast Listeners
The gap between listenership and familiarity has often seemed insurmountable. How do we get the people familiar with the term to become interested in trying a podcast, or invested enough to learn how to listen? What kind of tools can we use to get them there?
Listenership continues to grow, with a 9% climb over the past three years!
On top of this data, the Share of Ear study by Edison Research indicates that podcasts now occupy 9% of Americans’ total audio consumption time, with an all-time high 31% of all spoken word audio listening going to podcasts.
Both monthly and weekly listenership fell slightly in 2022, but has come back stronger in 2023.
42% of people in the US (12+) listened in the last month
Up from 38% in 2022Infinite Dial 2023
31% of people in the US (12+) listened in the last week
Up from 26% in 2022Infinite Dial 2023
What Does This Mean?
In 2022 we saw the first drop in regular monthly podcasting listening in almost ten years (since 2013), but these have bounced back with interest.
- Monthly listening fell from 41% in 2021 to 38% in 2022 but has now exceeded its 2021 numbers.
- Weekly listening fell from 28% in 2021 to 26% in 2022 but has now exceeded its 2021 numbers.
Let’s look back on our take during the slight downturn in 2022.
“Is this disheartening? I don’t think so. Overall listenership grew really strongly (those who have started listening at all to podcasts). So, those new listeners might take a while to develop into more regular listeners, and that might drag down our % here a little.
Or, the general world craziness may just have disrupted enough routines to contribute to lowering that number. We all know 2020 and 2021 were crazy in all sorts of ways, and that was bound to change people’s habits.
I think we’ll have to wait until 2023’s numbers to see if it’s a true trend.”
Well, we have, and it wasn’t, so that’s great news for the medium as a whole.
Of course, that doesn’t mean there won’t be more plateaus and dips in the future. It just means that we shouldn’t get too downhearted when they occur. (Or, get too carried away when we see big leaps in growth, for that matter!)
How Many People Listen to Podcasts on a Daily Basis?
In November 2022, Edison Weekly Insights revealed that daily podcast listening among Americans continues to grow.
In 2014, the first year of the Share of Ear survey, podcasts reached 5% of those in the U.S. age 13+. As of our most recent data, Q3 2022, podcasts now reach 18% of those age 13+ in the U.S. — a 20% increase in the past year (Q3 2021), and over three times the reach of 2014.
When Do People Listen to Podcasts?
A YouGov survey ‘What situations do Americans listen to podcasts?’ asked listeners when they’re most likely to listen to shows.
The most popular podcast-listening situations respondents gave were the following:
- 49% said they listen to podcasts while doing chores (the gender split was 43% male vs 55% female)
- 42% said they listen to podcasts on their work commute
- 29% said they listen to podcasts while working out.
Car & Commute-Based Podcast Listening
Data on Podcast Trust, Engagement, & Authority
Podcasts are gaining trust and engagement as a source of news and information. A study by The Pew Research Center shows that two-thirds of listeners hear news discussions on podcasts, expecting accuracy.
Research by the University of California suggests that headphone listening is twice as effective for message reception, with 93% of podcast consumption happening on headphones.
According to data presented in Audacy’s Spring 2023 State of Audio guide, advertisers benefit from podcast host reads, which outperform social media.
And a Spanish listener survey by Acast reveals that 97% of listeners have a positive perception of brands advertised on podcasts.
Overall, this data helps build a picture that podcasts have become a trusted medium for content and advertising.
Demographic Stats: The Women’s Podcast Report
The Women’s Podcast Report surveyed 1,500 Americans who self-identify as women, aged 18+ in August of 2022 and listen to podcasts monthly.
Over 1 in 3 U.S. Women 18+ (35%) have listened to a podcast in the past month. This is up 67% over the past 5 years, and now represents an estimated 47 million women.
Women listen to a variety of podcast content – on average, they listen to 5.7 different genres or topics. Some groups are even more voracious, with women aged 25-34 listening to 6.9 topics, Hispanic women listening to 6.8 topics, and moms listening to 6.5 topics.
Popularity of Spoken Word Audio
Podcasting doesn’t have a monopoly on audio content. The medium must still compete with audiobooks, radio and streaming music platforms.
- Spoken word’s share of audio listening has risen 45% over the last eight years
- There’s been a 25% increase in spoken word audio listeners in the US from 2014 to 2022 (105 million to 131 million)
- Gen Z (aged 13-24) spends 22% of their listening time on spoken word, compared to just 9% of the same age group back in 2014. That’s a whopping 214% growth.
Source: The Spoken Word Audio Report
How Popular Are Audiobooks?
- Audiobooks’ share of overall time spent listening to audio has grown 106% since 2017
- Daily reach of audiobook consumption has grown 94% since 2017
- 44% of UK adults said they listened to audiobooks in their spare time in 2021 (27% said they listened at least once per week)
- The number of audiobook titles published in the US increased 66% between 2018 and 2022.
- The global audiobook market was worth $4.2 million in 2021 and is set to grow annually at a rate of 26% between 2022-2030
- 41% of audiobook listeners say they subscribe to at least one audiobook service.
U.S. Radio Stats
Statista reported that radio had a weekly reach of around 82.5% among adults in the US, as of April 2022. There are over 15,445 radio stations competing for a share of this market.
What About Streaming Music?
- Music streaming revenues have multiplied more than 28 times since 2012
- The number of music streaming service subscribers worldwide grew 72% between 2019 and 2021 (305 million to 524 million).
UK Podcast Audience Statistics
How Many People Listen to Podcasts in the UK?
Let’s break out the UK podcast statistics, based on the recent Ofcom survey, in April 2023, and Rajar’s regular survey. The situation in the UK is a little different, with lower listening stats across the board, and not much movement for the past couple of years.
50% of adults in the UK have listened to a podcastOfcom podcast survey, April 2023
The UK’s 50/50 split of podcast listeners to non-listeners hasn’t changed since 2021.
25.5% of adults in the UK are regular podcast listenersRegular means once per week or more (Ofcom podcast survey, April 2023)
This is up 0.5% since last year, so, again, not much has changed.
However, the Spring 2023 MIDAS Report from RAJAR reveals a doubling in weekly podcast listeners over the past five years, reaching 22.8% of the population. The report highlights a significant increase in time spent listening to podcasts, more than 2.3 times higher than before. Interestingly, 80% of podcast listeners in the UK enjoy between one and three episodes per week.
What Age Group Listens to Podcasts Most?
Men aged 25-34 make up the core audience of podcasting, according to data from Edison Research. They spend 16% of all of their audio time with podcasts.
What do these Podcast Statistics Mean?
55% of 12 to 34 years olds listen to podcasts on a monthly basis, while only 21% of 55+ listen at the same frequency.Infinite Dial 2023
It looks like podcasting is a young person’s game! Proportionally, people in the 12 to 34-year-old age group listen to podcasts more frequently than their older counterparts. Half of all 12 to 34-year-olds listened to a show within the last month, up 5% from 2022 but still 1% short of the 2021 pandemic boom.
The segmentation still shows a steep drop-off in overall number of regular listeners once it hits the 55+ range (21% in 2023) and that bracket has also dropped from 26% in 2021.
We do see some actual growth in the 35-54 range, though, climbing 11% since 2020.
Podcast Listening in Ages 55+
A study released in April 2023 by Edison Research and NPR found that podcasting has a largely untapped audience in the age 55+ demographic.
The new data reveals that while podcast listening has grown dramatically over the last five years overall, listening among “Baby Boomers” has not grown and is at a far lower level than younger demographics. According to the report from Edison Research and NPR, Boomers have the tools and the interest to listen, but increased education and targeting are required.Hit Play, Boomer!
Men aged 55-64 spend only 4% of their total audio time with podcasts according to another report by Edison Research.
Kids Podcast Listening
A 2022 survey from Kids Listen reported that nearly half of all kids who listen to podcasts do so daily. Kids podcasts also show a high level of trust amongst parents compared to other mediums like TV and social media influencers.
Meanwhile, data in the Kids Podcast Listener Report from Edison Research suggests that 29% 6-12 year olds in the US are monthly podcast listeners, and that 87% of them have shared a takeaway or lesson with others.
Gen Z Podcast Listening
SXM Media’s Gen Z Podcast Listener Report examined the podcast listening habits of individuals aged 13 to 24 in the United States. The report, based on research conducted by Edison, reveals that 47% of Gen Z listeners have engaged with podcasts within the past month. Notably, this group demonstrates greater diversity compared to the overall monthly podcast listener base in the US. When it comes to discovering new shows, Gen Z podcast listeners primarily rely on platforms like YouTube, TikTok, and Instagram.
According to a recent report from Spotify in the UK, Gen Z represents the music and podcast streaming platform’s most rapidly expanding demographic. In the first half of 2023, this generation has witnessed a remarkable 58% increase in year-on-year podcast plays. Additionally, 39% of these Gen Z listeners opt to listen at an accelerated playback speed.
Weekly Podcast Listener Stats
Let’s take a look at volume, next. How many podcasts do the most regular listeners, those that listen weekly, consume?
What do these Podcast Statistics Mean?
Podcast fans consume 9 episodes per week, on averageInfinite Dial 2023
The average weekly listener will consume nine podcasts during their week. The most prolific listeners – a decent chunk at 19% – listen to 11 or more shows, every week. The deeper podcast statistics show that over half of all regular listeners will consume between three and ten shows every week, which is a significant amount of content.
What Day of the Week Do Podcasts Publish Episodes?
Wednesdays and Thursdays seem to be the most popular day for publishing podcasts, according to this 2022 report by Podchaser. The weekend sees a big dip in new uploads, with Saturday being the least popular day.
How Many Listeners Do Podcasts Get on Average?
This is the number everyone cares about: how do you compare to other podcasters? Here are stats from Buzzsprout, one of the biggest Podcast Hosts in the world, on how many listeners podcasts tend to get.
Here is your position, based on downloads per episode within the first seven days, as of October 2023:
- Top 1% of Podcasts > 5226
- Top 5% of Podcasts > 1155
- Top 10% of Podcasts > 477
- Top 25% of Podcasts > 120
- Top 50% of Podcasts > 31
So, if you get 31 listens per episode, or more, you’re about the same as the middle-of-the-road average Buzzsprout podcast user, right at the 50% mark!
These stats give you a gauge of how your show stacks up against ultra-popular podcasts. But remember, podcast downloads are never the full story.
Here are the previous stats:
- Top 1% of Podcasts > 4588
- Top 5% of Podcasts > 975
- Top 10% of Podcasts > 405
- Top 25% of Podcasts > 105
- Top 50% of Podcasts > 30
- Top 1% of Podcasts > 4683
- Top 5% of Podcasts > 938
- Top 10% of Podcasts > 386
- Top 25% of Podcasts > 101
- Top 50% of Podcasts > 29
- Top 1% of Podcasts > 3994
- Top 5% of Podcasts > 795
- Top 10% of Podcasts > 335
- Top 25% of Podcasts > 93
- Top 50% of Podcasts > 30
- Top 1% of Podcasts > 3974
- Top 5% of Podcasts > 731
- Top 10% of Podcasts > 308
- Top 25% of Podcasts > 87
- Top 50% of Podcasts > 29
- Top 1% of Podcasts > 3647
- Top 5% of Podcasts > 629
- Top 10% of Podcasts > 264
- Top 25% of Podcasts > 78
- Top 50% of Podcasts > 28
- Top 1% of Podcasts > 3188
- Top 5% of Podcasts > 584
- Top 10% of Podcasts > 244
- Top 25% of Podcasts > 74
- Top 50% of Podcasts > 27
What are the Top Podcast Listening Apps? (What do People Use to Listen to Podcasts?)
Everyone has to listen somehow! But what listening app do people use to listen, whether mobile or computer-based? Apple Podcasts is still the leader, but Spotify isn’t far behind.
Apple Podcasts is the most popular podcast listening app (44.4%) (Via Buzzsprout).Updated October 2023.
Spotify is in 2nd place (28.6%)
Here are the top 10, according to Buzzsprout’s podcast statistics:
|Listening Provider||May 21 (%)||Apr 22 (%)||May 23 (%)||Oct 23 (%)|
Buzzsprout showed Spotify as the top listening platform (just) back in October 2021. But Apple now seems to have regained a bit of a lead on them. There are a couple of reasons why this might be.
The second is that Spotify might be a brilliant music app, but, at this moment in time, it just isn’t a great podcast listening app. Could it be that their users are moving on to other “proper” podcast apps once they discover they like listening to spoken-word content? Possibly!
With that all said, a huge amount of podcast listening is still taking place on the platform…
What should not be ignored when thinking about podcasting’s reach is Spotify’s growth as a recognizable audio brand, and how this plays into the podcasting surge.
Spotify have increased monthly listening by American audiences overall. 35% of all people have listened in the last month.
- Up from 20% in 2018
- Up from 25% in 2020
- Up from 29% in 2021
- Down from 35% in 2022
34% of people in the US (12+) have listened to Spotify in the last month
Down from 35% in 2022, but up from 25% in 2020Infinite Dial 2023
Leading on from Spotify’s general growth, above, it seems that their work in podcasting has had a pretty big effect since they branched out into podcasting. The growth in podcast listening within the Spotify audience is huge.
53% of monthly Spotify Listeners, 12-24 years old, also listened to a Podcast in the last month
Up from 32% in 2018Infinite Dial 2019
What Devices Are People Using to Listen to Podcasts?
Long gone are the days of downloading podcasts on your computer and sticking them on your iPod. In this “internet of things” era, you could probably download an episode on your teapot.
The top 10 podcast listening devices as of October 2023, according to Buzzsprout.
- Apple iPhone – 69.6% (up from 68.6% in Jan 23)
- Android Phone – 17.3% (down from 18.1% in Jan 23)
- Windows Computer – 5.6%
- Unknown Device – 3.8%
- Apple Computer – 1.3%
- Apple iPad – 1.2%
- Unknown Smart TV – 0.4%
- Amazon Smart Speaker – 0.3%
- Android Tablet – 0.2%
- Unknown Computer – 0.2%
So no teapots, then.
What Is the Most Popular Podcast Genre in the U.S?
Edison Research announced the Top Podcast Genres in the U.S. for Q2 2022. The list ranks the most popular podcast genres based on audience size from Edison Podcast Metrics.
- Society and Culture
- True Crime
- Business (up from #7 in Q1 2022)
- Arts (up from #8 in Q1 2022)
- TV and Film (down from #6 in Q1 2022)
- Education (up from #10 in Q1 2022)
- Religion and Spirituality(down from #9 in Q1 2022)
In April 2023, Edison also published data suggesting that True Crime is the genre “most likely to place a show in the top 200”. Sounds Profitable’s Tom Webster expressed some legitimate concerns about how this data might be interpreted.
Podcast Ads & Advertising Stats
Podcasting is a big money industry these days, and it’s not all food hampers, mattresses, and socks.
Here are some statistics and data from the iab’s U.S. Podcast Advertising Revenue Study.
- For the first time ever, the podcast advertising market surpassed one billion dollars in 2021
- Revenues increased 72% YoY to $1.4B and are forecasted to exceed $2B in 2022 and almost triple by 2024 to over $4B.
- Revenues continue to grow faster than the total internet advertising revenue market – up 72% YoY vs. 35%. (IAB 2021 Internet Advertising Revenue Report)
- Podcast advertising categories are diversifying: the “Other” category—which contains an increasing number of ad categories with lower spend—more than tripled share in just two years.
- As advertisers demand surged, pre-roll advertising increased its share of revenue to 32% from 22% in 2020.
- Investments in ad tech made podcast advertising more digitally-enabled, expanding its capabilities and value for advertisers
- Dynamic ad insertion expanded to 84% of ad revenue, almost doubling in 2 years. Both host-read and announcer-read ads are largely being served via DAI (84% and 85%, respectively), creating greater scale, flexibility, and targetability for advertisers.
- Announcer-read ads continued to grow its share of ad revenue to 40% from 35% in 2020 as it enables efficient ad creation and deployment.
Which Podcast Formats Will Be the Most Popular for New Creators in 2023?
There are various podcast formats you can use for your show. Running podcast interviews was almost considered the default choice for many years. These podcast statistics suggest that the future may look a little different, however.
Data from our free Podcast Planner Tool suggests that 43% of new podcasters plan to release solo episodes. Is this a sign of post-pandemic remote call fatigue? Or are podcasters starting to realise that going solo is an optimal way to become the authority on their shows? Only time will tell.
What Audio Equipment Do Podcasters Most Commonly Use?
Finding the right podcast equipment is always an exciting job, but it can be daunting. So, what’s the most popular gear out there? In Spring 2019 we published our latest findings around podcast equipment statistics: The Podcast Host Gear Survey 2019. Here are some of the top-line numbers based on responses to this survey.
According to our survey respondents:
Rode is the most popular microphone brand (19%) with Blue in 2nd place (17%)The Podcast Host Gear Survey 2019
The Blue Yeti (17%) is the most popular mic, with the Blue Snowball in 2nd place (9%)The Podcast Host Gear Survey 2019
35% of people use a dynamic mic, 29% use a condenser mic and 33% use a USB mic(stats not mutually exclusive – the Blue Yeti is Condenser AND USB)
74% of podcasters record with headphones, while the rest choose not to monitorThe Podcast Host Gear Survey 2019
You can also see 2018’s podcast equipment stats here: Podcast Equipment Statistics: The Most Popular Equipment, Software & Tools
Only 11% of respondents record video & publish the full episodeIndiePod Census 2023
32% of respondents don’t record video & have no plans toIndiePod Census 2023
There’s definitely a big range of podcast software in use, by podcasters, but one option commands the bulk of podcast editing and recording usage:
48% of respondents use Audacity to edit their podcast, with Adobe Audition in 2nd place (31%)The Podcast Host Gear Survey 2019
How Long are Podcasts, on Average?
If you’re trying to decide on how long your podcast should be, then it might help to get an answer to the question: how long is the average podcast?
The most common podcast length is between 20 and 40 minutes (32%)Across all Buzzsprout Podcasts
Here are the stats from Buzzsprout, as of October 2023, drawing from 123,539 active podcasts:
- Less than 10 minutes > 16%
- 10 – 20 minutes > 15%
- 20 – 40 minutes > 32%
- 40 – 60 minutes > 21%
- Over 60 minutes > 16%
For comparison, here are the same stats from Feb 2021, April 2022, and January 2023. You can see that these numbers remain fairly consistent, despite there being thousands of new podcasts active on the platform.
- Less than 10 minutes > 16%
- 10 – 20 minutes > 15%
- 20 – 40 minutes > 31%
- 40 – 60 minutes > 20%
- Over 60 minutes > 17%
- Less than 10 minutes > 14%
- 10 – 20 minutes > 15%
- 20 – 40 minutes > 31%
- 40 – 60 minutes > 22%
- Over 60 minutes > 17%
Less than 10 minutes > 13%
10 – 20 minutes > 14%
20 – 40 minutes > 31%
40 – 60 minutes > 23%
Over 60 minutes > 18%
Episode Length & Time Data From Over 1500 Aspiring Podcasters
Data from our free Podcast Planner Tool suggests that 53% of new podcasters plan to publish episodes that are between 20 and 40 minutes long.
How Often Does the Average Podcast Publish an Episode?
Similarly, if you’re asking, how often should I release my podcast, here’s what Buzzsprout’s Podcast statistics show about the average.
The most common podcast publishing frequency is every 8 to 14 days (38%)Across all Buzzsprout podcasts
Percentage of podcasts and the frequency by which they release episodes:
- 0 – 2 days > 7%
- 3 – 7 days > 36%
- 8 – 14 days > 38%
- 15 – 29 days > 18%
- Over 30 days > 2%
Updated October 2023.
These are virtually identical to March 2021 and January 2023. Again, this is interesting, given that there are thousands of new podcasts active on the platform.
Release Frequency Data From Over 1,500 Aspiring Podcasters
Data from our free Podcast Planner Tool suggests that 55% of new podcasters plan to publish on a weekly basis.
How Do People Find New Podcasts to Listen To?
Let’s find out how listeners are actually finding new shows. These are the results of a discoverability survey we ran in 2020. According to our respondents, here is how they find new shows:
- Search My Podcast App’s Directory – 40%
- Directly Ask Someone I Know Who Likes the Same Stuff – 18.3%
- Ask on Social Media or Online Community – 15.2%
- Search on Google – 13.6%
- Browse Through a Podcast Chart or ‘Featured’ Section– 13%
This was one result from The Podcast Host Discoverability Survey. The report is essential reading for anyone who wants to grow an audience. It highlights the most effective areas to concentrate on when it comes to promotion and marketing.
We’re always looking to run interesting new surveys too, so if there are any specific podcast data you’d like to see here in future be sure to give us a shout!
Voxnext released a set of podcast stats in 2019, which showed the countries in which podcasting is growing fastest. It makes for an interesting read:
Chile (83.9% growth)Voxnest, March 2019
Reuters Digital News Report 2018 also reported that, in South Korea, 58% of people said that they listened to a podcast at least once a month.
And, Not So Fast…
Japan is a country with lots of room for podcast growth. Though listening increased in 2022, overall uptake remains low at 15.7%. 28.1% of 15-29 year olds use podcasts monthly in the country. This data is presented in the Podcast Report in Japan survey by Otonal and The Asahi Shimbun Company.
Writing for Podnews, Guang Jin YEO takes an insightful deep dive into slow podcast growth in Japan, and what can be done about it.
Which Country Has the Highest Percentage of Podcast Listeners?
According to the Edison Research Infinite Dial 2023 Australian Audio Report, it’s Australia. The study highlights that 43% of Australians tune in to podcasts monthly, surpassing the US’s 42% figure. Additionally, a significant one-third of Australians engage with podcasts every week, outpacing the US’s 31% statistic.
Why Do People Start Podcasts?
Is the term “hobby” slightly patronising, though? Many “hobbyist” podcasters prefer to describe their endeavours as a “creative outlet”.
Other common reasons for starting are to build a personal brand (21%) and to grow a business (19.7%).
What Do Podcasters Struggle With Most?
Ideas, scripting, and episode planning caused problems for 17.9%, whilst editing was the issue for 13.4% of respondents.
How Do Podcasters Measure Success?
The term “success” means different things to different people. Our Podcaster Cares survey revealed that the most common way responding podcasters measure it is through spikes in their download numbers.
Feedback from listeners, either via email or podcast reviews, was also shown to be something podcasters put a lot of onus on. The amount of ‘likes’ an episode gets on social was the thing that had the least impact.
Are Podcasters Concerned With Censorship & Content Moderation?
49.2% said that they were “concerned about harmful, dangerous, and misleading content in podcasting”, but felt that censorship was a “slippery slope”.
14.2% don’t want to see any content moderation whatsoever, stating that “it’s nobody’s right to try and police podcasting for everyone else.”
What Organisations are Collating Podcast Statistics?
The Infinite Dial report, a survey conducted by Edison Research and Triton Digital, is probably the most popular databank and survey on the state of Podcast industry statistics in the United States, especially audio. The Rajar Midas survey is the equivalent in the UK.
Infinite Dial has conducted phone-based surveys since 1998, including podcasts since 2006–that means since nearly the inception of podcasting, making this incredibly valuable data. The respondent pool of 1500 is composed of people aged twelve and over, weighted against the US census data for population, and split proportionally between landlines and cell phones.
Podcast Industry Statistics: References
I’ve drawn from a range of great sources of Podcast Industry stats in this article, including:
- Edison Research Infinite Dial 2023
- Rajar Midas Audio Survey Summer 2022
- The Podcast Host Gear Survey 2019
- The Podcast Host Discoverability Survey 2020
- The Podcaster Problems Survey 2021
- The Podcast Host ‘Podcaster Cares’ Survey 2022
- Reuters Digital News Report 2018
- Podcast Industry Insights courtesy of Daniel J. Lewis
- Buzzsprout Podcasting Stats
- Ofcom Podcast Survey April 2023
- Statista – U.S. Radio Industry – Statistics & Facts
- iab U.S. Podcast Advertising Revenue Study.
- The Spoken Word Audio Report