Despite only being highly popularized in the most recent decade, the beginnings of podcasts as a medium can be traced back to 2000, when French entrepreneur Tristan Louis suggested adding video and audio data to the RSS feeds.
The name wasn’t even coined until 2004—a journalist Ben Hammersley proposed podcasting, as a combination of iPod and broadcasting.
How has the medium changed from then to 2022? Although named after Apple’s popular device, Spotify has taken over the reins as the most popular app for most users. Read on to find out just how influential podcasts are becoming in the advertising world and broader.
Top Podcast Statistics: Editor’s Choice
- There are over 2 million podcasts.
- Only 37.6% of podcasters have been active for three years or longer.
- A whopping 222 million people in the US are familiar with podcasting.
- 41% of Americans have listened to a podcast every month.
- There are 3.2 million podcasts on Spotify.
- About 62% of podcast listeners are aged 13–39.
- White people account for 57% of the total number of podcast listeners.
- 22% of the American podcast audience favor comedy over other genres.
- Podcasts are preferred by 59% of listeners.
- The average length for a podcast estimated in 2021 is 37 minutes and 30 seconds.
How Many Podcasts Are There?
The figures around the podcast industry have constantly been shifting throughout the last few years. The medium became more and more widespread among audiences across the world, especially in the US.
1. There are over 2 million podcasts at the moment.
Compared to previous years, the podcast sector experienced significant growth in just a couple of years. As of December 2021, there are 2,400,363 podcasts—with only 30% of them being active.
The number of episodes shows similar podcast growth trends: there are currently over 59 million episodes.
2. Podcasts are available in over 100 languages.
Global podcast statistics show that podcasts aren’t just popular with English speakers. You can find them in over 100 languages, and they cater to a large, diverse audience.
Interestingly, South Korea led the way in the percentage of the population listening to podcasts last month, with 58% of citizens tuning into their favorite shows.
3. Only 37.6% of podcasters have been active for more than three years.
To get to objective podcast facts and figures, active podcasters have published at least one episode in the last three months. Conversely, inactive podcasters haven’t posted anything 90 days back.
That considered, 12.9% of them have been active from six months to a year, and 17.2% are true beginners with less than six months of work. The high competition in the podcast industry suggests how difficult it is for podcasters to stay on top of their game.
4. In 2021, around 222 million Americans said they were familiar with podcasting.
Podcasts stats show 78% of the population have learned about podcasts—through a conversation or if they’re active listeners.
The number had grown significantly since 2006 when only 22% of US citizens knew of podcasts. The next year, podcast popularity had its most notable increase, with 15% more people learning about it.
5. 41% of Americans have listened to a podcast on a monthly basis.
About 116 million people in the US are expected to listen to at least one podcast by the end of 2021.
Compared to previous years, the podcast industry experienced considerable growth, according to the latest statistics. In 2018, this figure only accounted for 26% of American listeners aged 12 and older.
6. Podcast listener numbers show 30% of adults tuning in from their car in 2021.
While AM/FM radio is Americans’ favorite option while driving, podcasts have been gaining popularity over the last few years. In 2019, 4% fewer people stated they listen to podcasts during a ride, with 28% of listeners opting for this form of audio sourcing in 2020.
7. An average number of weekly podcast listeners in 2021 is 80 million people.
This means that 28% of the population tuned in the week the survey was conducted. It marks a 4% growth from 2020. This is probably the most significant surge in recent history, followed by the 3% audience increase registered in 2019. Compared to the start of the decade, podcasting has reached astounding numbers.
What Is The Most Popular Podcast Platform?
Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Amazon—there is no lack of podcasting platforms at the moment. But which app do most listeners turn to? Let’s find out.
8. Spotify reported over 3.2 million podcast titles on the platform.
Compared to the beginning of its journey, there were only 185,000 available podcasts on Spotify. Today, this figure shows a growth rate of 1,500%.
The Joe Rogan Experience has been number one among the most listened-to podcasts on Spotify for two years in a row. Call Her Daddy and Crime Junkie were numbers two and three, with TED Talks Daily dropping at the fourth position.
9. Spotify has over 299 million listeners.
As the second most popular podcasting platform in the world, Spotify’s podcast audience size reaches 92 marketplaces worldwide. The platform has also reported its audience has nearly doubled throughout 2020.
It’s also accessible from a vast array of devices, such as smart speakers, gaming consoles, wearables, and car audio—to mention a few.
Moreover, Spotify podcast statistics give a powerful insight and keep track of everyday listeners and which episodes they are streaming the most.
10. Spotify is the most popular podcast platform in the US.
Spotify has overtaken Apple Podcasts as the Americans’ leading podcast listening app. With 25% of listeners opting for the Swedish company, the platform saw a 6% growth YoY in 2020.
Interestingly, Apple Podcasts’ audience has dropped by one percent over the same period. While Spotify and Apple Podcasts battle for the first place, Google Podcasts ranks third, with 16% of listeners.
11. As of December 2021, Apple Podcast announced a total of 29,058,874 downloads on the platform, according to their statistics.
When it comes to podcast download numbers, Apple Podcast is in the leading position. Furthermore, Apple Podcast counts 32.8% of podcast users. Its fierce competitor Spotify is right behind with 27,189,548, with 30.7% of podcast users.
On the other hand, Apple iTunes is among the least popular platforms on the list, with only 1.1% of podcast listenership.
12. Google Podcasts reached the 100 million downloads milestone.
With more and more people tuning in to podcasts, it’s only normal that Google Podcasts have gained a larger audience. Although this platform is not the most popular out there, Google Podcast statistics hit 100 million downloads. The figure has doubled in a span of only six months—from 50 million.
Many people find Google Podcasts easier to use than other platforms, as it connects directly with the listener’s Google account.
13. 27% of Canadians consume podcasts through an unlikely platform—YouTube.
YouTube demographics indicate it was the most popular platform for podcast audiences in Canada, ahead of Spotify (25%) and Apple Podcasts (18%).
The most recent stats show that one of the most-watched podcasts was H3 Productions, which accumulated over 208 million views and 6 million subscribers. Interestingly, their secondary channel—H3 Podcast—had over 388 million views, with two million subscribers.
14. Smartphones are the most popular devices for podcast listeners.
If we know that PC and desktop devices have seen a steady decline in use, this comes as no surprise.
In China alone, an incredible 98.8% of people listen to podcasts through their smartphones, while 21.4% do so via computers or laptops. Only 13.7% use tablets.
Who Listens to Podcasts?
The podcast industry growth is in direct correlation to the increased interest of the audience globally. This is how we have more people than ever tuning in daily to their favorite shows. But what is the target demographic for advertisers?
15. 62% of consumers aged 13–39 listen to podcasts.
Millennials and Gen Zers have the largest number of podcast listeners. A good 26% of them report listening to podcasts on a weekly basis. Gen Zers have become as influential listeners as millennials are.
The same podcast demographics asked listeners aged 16–34 if they listen to ads. 44% of them either listen to ads or skip them, while the remaining 11% paid for an ad-free service.
16. 51% of monthly podcast listeners are men.
The gender ratio among podcasts listeners has been consistently balanced.
When it comes to Americans, 48% of men listened to podcasts in January–February 2021. Surprisingly, women reached a good 49%, while non-binary listeners only account for 2% of the US population.
17. Podcast listener demographics indicate that 50% of all podcasts listeners in the US are the age of 12–34.
Americans aged 35–54 make up 29% of the consumers, with those in the age group of 55 and over being the least likely to tune into a podcast (21%).
If we know that those aged 12–34 are, at the same time, the largest demographic in the US at the moment (37% of the population), it’s obvious that younger people enjoy this sort of entertainment the most.
18. According to podcast listener statistics, white people make up 57% of the podcast audience.
Caucasians make up 58% of the US population, so it comes as no surprise that they dominate among the listeners.
African-Americans and Hispanics present 13% and 16% of all consumers in the US each. Only 4% of Asians tune in to podcasts, with 10% of the survey respondents identifying as Others did the same.
How Many People Listen to Podcasts?
Figures clearly show that podcasts are rising in popularity among the US audience—but what type of content do Americans enjoy the most? Let’s take a look at some viewership numbers to find the answers.
19. The Joe Rogan Experience is the highest-earning podcast in the world.
The comedian and former UFC commentator was a celebrity even before his podcast skyrocketed in the last few years.
Joe Rogan reportedly earned $30 million over a one–year period, with his podcast being downloaded as many as 190 million times per month, making it number one among top-earning podcasts.
20. Comedy is the favorite genre for 22% of the US podcast audience.
When it comes to top podcast genres, the close second choice for American listeners is podcasting shows from the News category, as 21% stated they tune in to learn about the latest events.
True Crime is a long-time favorite topic of podcast listeners across the US. About 18% of people love to spend time listening to their favorite crime episodes. With 17% of US listeners, Sport and Fitness complete the top five of the most popular podcast genres.
On the other hand, Pop Culture and Scripted Drama are the least favorite categories by podcast listeners, registering only 9% and 8% each.
21. 82.4% of avid listeners listen for more than 7 hours weekly.
It’s no surprise that podcasting has been growing in popularity over the past years. More and more people have been adopted listening to podcasts as a daily or weekly activity. That’s why the vast majority of avid listeners tune in to podcasts for more than 7 hours a week.
What’s more, podcasting statistics show that users listen to around seven shows every day of the week.
22. Consumers spent well over six hours weekly, on average, listening to podcasts in 2020.
The exact number is 6:39—a 10–minute increase from the previous year.
An overview of the last five years tells us that 2016 was when consumers tuned in the least, only slightly over four hours per week.
23. A podcast episode that gets 141 downloads in the first 30 days can be considered successful.
The latest podcast download statistics indicate that 136 downloads in the first month put a show in the top 50% of all podcasts.
When it comes to the top 1% of podcasts, the episodes get 36,000 downloads on average during the same period. However, getting 26 downloads for a new episode during the first week of its release is a pretty decent result.
Latest Podcasting Advertising Statistics
With more Americans—and the rest of the world, for that matter—than ever enjoying their favorite podcast episodes daily, this medium’s marketing power is a field to be explored for all business owners.
24. The average podcast sponsorship rates are $18 for a 30–second ad CPM, and $25 for a 60–second ad CPM.
Cost-per-mille means that the $18 and $25 sums are paid per one thousand listeners.
It’s important to note that these are only averages—the prices vary greatly, depending on the podcast popularity, hosts’ celebrity power, as well as authenticity.
25. Podcasting advertising revenue was close to one billion dollars in 2020.
Although the COVID-19 pandemic has harmed many industries, this is not the same for podcasting. During this troubling period, more and more people sought to tune in to new episodes. In fact, these podcast trends are projected to surpass two billion dollars by 2023.
So, it’s not surprising that brands who make podcasts as a part of their advertising strategy have nearly doubled.
26. 42% of all listeners purchase an item after hearing advertisements on a podcast.
Audio marketing has a significant effect on listeners. They tend to purchase products after hearing about them on a podcast—and today more than ever.
34% of podcast listeners are repeat customers—they purchased products or services two or more times after being promoted on a podcast. These podcast industry statistics show that a good 17% of them have bought them at least four times.
27. 59% of listeners prefer podcasts over other social media.
Podcast listening is now becoming an avid habit for many people. They can listen to them while working, driving, or doing chores.
Even more listeners (66%) rather tune into podcasts than watch TV.
28. 39% of all podcast users are small and medium-sized business owners.
Podcast listener numbers show that a good percentage of consumers who own small or medium businesses tune into shows every week.
The most recent podcast audience statistics suggest that, as the company size increases, so does the percentage of owners that are likely to listen to podcasts. The figure equals 72% for businesses with 100–500 employees.
29. 55% of podcast listeners pay attention to advertisements.
One area where podcasts win the debate against YouTube is when it comes to ads. Podcast listeners don’t skip the ads. Over half of listeners pay attention to podcast ads since they are seamlessly integrated by the host into the program.
On YouTube, the most subscribed podcasts are The Joe Rogan Experience and The H3 Podcast. So, it’s not surprising that podcasting on YouTube has become really popular.
More Enticing Stats That’ll Make You Tune In
Not convinced to listen in?
Read on to find out more facts and figures about podcasts—not just from the comfort of your home, but all the way to the coasts of Australia.
30. 36% of Americans listen to podcasts at work.
While over one–third of podcast listeners in the US tune in while at work. This marks an 11 percentage points increase in comparison to the previous year.
Just two years ago, in 2018, only 12% of the audience listened to their favorite podcasts during working hours.
31. In 2021, the average podcast length is expected to be 37 minutes and 30 seconds.
This podcast research shows that most podcast episodes are just shy of three-quarters of an hour long. As the overall user interest is low, many will choose to speed the time up to shorten the length. Interestingly, the average length is four minutes shorter than in 2019.
32. The best day to publish a podcast is Wednesday.
Podcast experts have found that weekdays are a more recommendable choice when it comes to publishing podcasts.
On weekends, the number of downloaded podcasts is the lowest ever.
33. One–third of people in Australia listen to podcasts.
Per podcast statistics, growth of the audience has been steady in Australia—32% of news consumers reported tuning in to their favorite shows, which marks a five percentage points YoY increase.
The number is still lower than that of the global podcasts scale in 2020, which stands at 41%.
34. In 2020, the global podcast market size was valued at $11.46 billion.
During the 2021–2028 decade, this figure is expected to grow at a CAGR of 31.1%. The US perspective is quite similar, with a CAGR of 27.1% for the same period.
In North America, the podcast market share is the largest in the world, accounting for 40% in 2020. As for the regional market, the US alone registered 90% in share. Thanks to the adoption of advanced technologies and a mature audience, it’s no wonder the market share has shown staggering numbers. When it comes to audience size and engagement, Canada’s market is also on the rise.
Podcast Statistics: The Takeaway
Podcasting’s marketing potential has never been more pronounced. What makes the medium superior to other forms of placed advertisements is its seamless insertion into the episodes. More importantly, the audience hears it from a source they consider credible.
Whether you want to promote your business through a prominent podcaster’s show, or maybe even undertake the industry yourself, the numbers show a clear picture—podcasts mustn’t be ignored.
Frequently Asked Questions
Who has the #1 podcast in the world?
After being acquired by Spotify in September 2020, The Joe Rogan Experience still ended the year as the most popular podcast on the platform by far.
It’s almost the highest-earning podcast of the year, with the total revenue reaching $30 million. This is especially impressive considering it’s been Spotify-exclusive in the last quarter of 2020.
How many podcasts does the average person listen to?
An average American consumer listens to an average of seven different shows per week. This marks a significant growth since 2017 when people tuned in to five shows every week. Of course, this is hardly surprising, given the state in which the world was left by the pandemic and lockdowns.
How many podcasts are there?
As more and more people listen to podcasts on a weekly basis, even the number of podcasts has significantly grown. As of today, there are over 2 million podcasts out there, with more than 59 million episodes in more than 100 languages. More precisely, in December 2021, the podcasting industry saw a total of 2,400,363 podcasts.
How much do podcasts make?
If a podcast manages around 10,000 downloads per episode, you can, objectively, expect to earn anywhere from $500–$900 per episode in affiliate sales.
The amount of money a show can earn depends heavily on the number of downloads, as well as its advertising rates.
How much data does the podcast use?
On average, listening to an hour-long podcast will cost you about 60 MB of mobile data. This means that most podcasts take up one MB per minute. The mobile data use, of course, varies. It depends on multiple factors—the most important of those being the quality in which the podcasts are encoded.
How many people listen to podcasts?
While 212 million people—or 75% of the population—in America is familiar with podcasts, only 55% have ever listened to a single episode.
An estimated 104 million Americans (37%) listen to podcasts on a monthly basis.
How many downloads is a successful podcast?
Acquiring 136 downloads of a podcast episode in the first month of its publishing puts a show in the top 50% of podcasts.
Around 7,700 downloads will get you a place among the best 5% of shows in the world. However, if you want to find yourself among the elite 1% podcasters, you have to work towards 36,000 downloads in the first 30 days.
Where do people listen to podcasts?
When it comes to the best podcasting platform, listeners can choose from a wide variety of options. Although platforms like Audible and Deezer had a relatively large audience, Spotify is on top of the game.
In 2020, 25% of American podcast listeners used this popular app to tune in to their favorite episodes. Apple Podcasts comes right after, with 20% of adults listening to podcasts on the platform.
Why do people listen to podcasts?
Podcasts are a refreshing and innovative way for people have to discuss plenty of issues. The vast majority of listeners (74%) tune in to learn new things. The remaining percentage listens to podcasts to relax, keep themselves up to date with the news, or solely for entertainment.
However, there’s still a good 50% of people who do not listen to podcasts at all, and here’s why. Many people do not know where to find them, while others feel overwhelmed by the astonishing number of podcasts.
When do people listen to podcasts?
According to the latest report by Statista, the ideal time to listen to podcasts for 32% of Americans is between 10 am and 3 pm. 23% of Americans tune in the morning, between 6 am and 10 am. Only 6% of Americans believe the best time is between midnight and 6 am.
How big is the podcast industry?
The podcasting industry was reported to be worth $9.28 billion in 2019, which is the latest data we have on this. The same report projected the number to reach $11.07 in 2020.
Podcast statistics projected the growth rate in the period of 2020–2027 is an astonishing 27.5%—meaning it is projected to reach $60.50 billion worth.
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