Podcast Statistics

Podcast Statistics image

Podcasts seem to have become the new black for marketers. But did you know that these have been around for a while? Despite its rapid rise in popularity in the last five or so years, this format is more than two decades old. Today, brands are leveraging the marketing power of podcasts to attract customers. We, therefore, prepared these essential podcast statistics that underscore this medium’s growth and peek into the factors behind it. Hopefully, our stats and facts will help you build your podcast marketing strategy from scratch or just tweak it if you already have one.

Podcast Statistics (Editor’s Choice)

  • Today, there are over two million podcasts worldwide.
  • One-third of Americans listen to podcasts at least once per month.
  • The average American podcast user listens to seven podcasts per week.
  • Around 22% of podcast listeners in the US like the comedy genre.
  • In the US, 65% of listeners use smartphones and tablets for podcasts.
  • Slightly more women listen to podcasts compared to men.
  • The US podcast industry is set to hit $1 billion in annual ad revenues in 2021.
  • About 54% of listeners are more likely to consider a brand after hearing about it on the podcast.

General Podcast Stats

1. Three out of four podcast consumers in the US listen to this format to learn new things.

Podcast popularity relies on its diverse offer to consumers. Education seems to be a big deal for those tuning in to podcasts on a monthly basis. Then, 35% of those who don’t listen to podcasts state it’s because they don’t know how to find them. Other notable reasons for not listening to podcasts include not really understanding what they are, or not knowing where to start.


2. Today, there are over two million podcasts worldwide.

This format is rapidly going mainstream, especially if we consider that 78% of Americans are now aware of it. Podcasting statistics show that there are 48 million different podcast episodes today. For reference, in 2018 there were only 500,000 active podcasts.


3. Nearly a third of Americans listen to podcasts at least once monthly.

The frequency with which users watch podcasts has been continuously growing over the years. Podcast listener numbers reached 32% of the total US population in 2019, up from 26% in 2018 and more than double 2014’s 15%.

(Edison Research)

4. Nine out of 10 Americans listen to podcasts at home.

Although the greatest advantage of podcasts being available on mobiles and streaming platforms, the majority of people in the US prefer to listen to them at home. However, it’s not like people don’t listen to podcasts while on the move either. So 64% listen while in the car, 49% while walking, and 37% on the commute. Podcast stats also show that seven out of 10 listeners don’t like to do anything while listening. Others, on the other hand, like to multitask. So 59% enjoy podcasts while doing housework and 52% do so while driving.


5. Approximately 82.4% of podcast fans listened to podcasts seven hours and more per week in 2019.

According to the podcast listenership data from 2019, no respondents who were part of the research listened to less than one hour of podcasts each week. On the other hand, the majority does listen to seven or more, a 5.6% increase YoY. Then, 22.4% listened to over 22 hours each week.

(Discover Pods)

6. The average American podcast listener enjoys seven podcasts per week.

By looking at podcast popularity stats, we can see that the number of podcasts the average American listens to in one week is seven. Then, 21% of podcast listeners enjoyed four or five podcasts. Next, 17% listened to three, 15% to two, and 16% to one. At the other end of the spectrum, 17% listened between six and 10, while 14% listened to 11+.

(Edison Research)

7. Apple Podcasts has content available in over 100 languages.

Apple launched a media player app for consumers to listen to podcasts, allowing in-app subscriptions. This platform feathers over 500,000 active audio formats from iTunes, podcast statistics show. However, the platform faced some issues at first, allowing Spotify to announce its plan for subscription podcasts and launch it.

(Variety, The Verge)

8. Spotify is estimated to reach 28.2 million podcast listeners per month in 2021.

The platform is well on its way to overtake Apple this year. Podcast audience numbers from Statista show that by the end of 2021, Apple Podcasts will have 28 million monthly listeners.


9. The top 1% of best-performing podcast episodes have 3,062+ downloads within a week of their release.

Podcast download numbers are the best indicator of performance. So, if an episode hits 539 downloads in seven days, it is in the top 5%. Next, if we are talking about 231 downloads in the same period, this podcast belongs to the top 10%. Finally, with 72 and 26 downloads, the podcast is either in the top 25% or top 50%, respectively.

(The Podcast Host)

10. There are 10 million more weekly podcast consumers in the US than Netflix accounts.

Some 28% of Americans are actively listening to podcasts, podcast listeners statistics show. For comparison purposes, that’s 80 million, where there are nearly 70 million Netflix account owners. Some analysts believe this is a signal that people have started switching from video to audio media.


11. Around 22% of podcast listeners in the US like the comedy genre.

Podcasts are in fact a form of audio entertainment for many people, therefore it’s no wonder a large number of Americans listen to the comedy genre. Other popular genres are news (21%), true crime (18%), sport (17%), and health (17%). It’s no wonder that the top three most popular podcasts in the US are The Joe Rogan Experience, The Daily, and Crime Junkie.


Podcast Audience Statistics

12. In 2021, about 41% of the adults in the US have listened to podcasts in the last month.

The number of podcast listeners in the US has tripled in the last decade. For reference, between 2009 and 2019, the number of Americans who had ever listened to podcasts grew from 22% to 51%.


13. In the US, 65% of listeners use smartphones and tablets for podcasts.

Desktop is not a popular way for people to tune in to podcasts. The majority of people listen to podcasts from their mobile devices and through apps. Computers and laptops are the primary choices for only one-quarter of podcasters.


14. Podcast listener statistics show that slightly more women listen to podcasts compared to men, 51% vs 49%.

Podcast listener demographics show a pretty even picture in terms of gender representation. However, despite the 2% in favor of women listening to podcasts, the number of men who enjoy podcasts at least once a month is higher — 36% vs. 29% for women, according to recent podcast research.

(Edison Research)

15. 60% of Americans aged 18-34 listen to podcasts monthly.

Podcasts are quite popular with younger consumers. Podcast statistics indicate that the older the age group, the percentage of people listening to podcasts drops. For example, among consumers between 35 and 44, around half listen to podcasts each month. Finally, less than one-fifth of those over 65 years old do the same.

(Insider Intelligence)

16. About 57% of American podcast consumers are white, with the trend shifting.

2021 has brought about more diversification among those who listen to podcasts in the US. For instance, there are 13% of African Americans tuning in to podcasts, while 16% are Hispanic. Further, 4% of those listening to podcasts in the US are Asian, while 10% identify as other.


Global Podcast Stats

17. About 26% of the Australian population listens to podcasts.

The pandemic pushed several digital audio trends forward Down Under. First, the number of Australians over 12 years old listening to the radio over the air, online, or radio podcasts rose to 86%. Next, compared to 2020, there has been a 53% increase in listeners who tune in on a weekly basis. Finally, the ownership of smart speakers increased as well, so now 26% of the population has them, according to the podcast statistics for Australia.

(Media Week)

18. India is the third-largest consumer of podcasts.

As is the case with many other countries, India’s consumption of podcasts in 2020 increased 29.3%. In fact, it’s third on the list of the largest consumers, after the US and China. For reference, podcast statistics for India show it has over 57.6 million monthly listeners.

(Hindustan Times)

19. Most power listeners in Canada tune in to Apple Podcasts.

Power listeners is a term referring to those listening over five hours per week. In 2020, Spotify gained ground on Apple and YouTube as the biggest platforms for podcasts. Apple, however, kept its foothold in Canada (28% among power listeners) based on the latest podcast statistics for Canada.

Local stats further show that about half of Canadian podcasters listen to between 76% and 100% of the podcasts they have downloaded on their devices. Just under a quarter (24%) listen to between 51% and 75% of their downloaded podcasts.

(Jar Audio)

20. There were 15 million podcast listeners in the United Kingdom in 2020.

Britain was no exception to the global podcast trend during the pandemic. According to the latest podcast statistics for the UK, the number of listeners in Britain is projected to grow to 20 million listeners by 2024. This type of audio entertainment is the most widespread among a younger audience. Namely, 40% of Brits tuning in to podcasts on a weekly basis, are 26 to 35 years old. In terms of genre, British women tend to prefer comedy and music, as opposed to sports and comedy for male podcast consumers.


Podcast Advertising Statistics

21. The US podcast industry is set to hit $1 billion in annual ad revenues in 2021.

The podcast market is fast growing in the US, with some of the best advertising agencies having started to use this medium in their strategies. Ad sales for American podcasters rose by 19% in 2020, reaching $842 million. One study meanwhile suggests that revenues from ads in 2023 might double to $2 billion.

(The Wrap)

22. About 54% of listeners are more likely to consider a brand after hearing about it on the podcast.

Advertisement in podcasts is gaining momentum lately. Typically, these ads have low frequency and are relevant to the context of the podcast. A particular podcast study shows that 64% of listeners see ads as a good match for podcasts. Podcast growth statistics from IAB and PwC meanwhile suggested that podcast ad revenues would grow 110% in 2020.


23. Advertisement rates range from $20 to $100 per 100,000 listeners.

One of the main forms of earning money from podcasts involves advertisements during the show. Therefore, the more listeners tune in, or download the podcast, then adversiter is more likely to earn a higher amount. This amount is counted as a charge per 100,000 listeners or CPM.

(The Best Media)

The Bottom Line

As it seems, 2021 is a fruitful year for podcasting, facts suggest. With brands fighting to gain the attention of customers, podcasts have been recognized for their marketing potential. The industry is further benefiting from technological advancements, including smart speakers, voice SEO, and similar trends which are all fuelling podcast growth. With podcasting here to stay, hopefully these statistics have shown you how to take advantage of this promising segment. Who knows, you might even set up your own podcast one of these days.

Podcast FAQ

How many podcasts are there?

There are over two million podcasts worldwide. Moreover, there are over 48 million podcasts episodes according to Podcast Insights. For reference, in 2018 there were only 500,000 active podcasts, indicating a stellar growth in just two years.

How many people listen to podcasts?

Podcasts statistics suggest that the number of Americans listening to this format of audio marketing in 2021 increased to a significant degree over the last decade. Namely, 41% of people in the US older than 12 years, listened to podcasts, up 37% YoY. On top of these stats, 28% of those over 12 years old said they listened to a podcast in the past week (24% up from 2020).

How many listeners does a podcast have?

On average, a podcast hits some 27 listens per episode. Only approximately 1% of the top podcasts have an audience of 3,200+ listens per episode. Podcast popularity statistics show that the world’s most famous podcast, The Joe Rogan Experience, has an audience of seven million per some of its episodes.

Why do people listen to podcasts?

Podcasts provide consumers with ample benefits. From new knowledge and facts to inspiration, to education. As a matter of fact, three out of four consumers in the US claim that podcasts serve as a place to learn new things.

How many podcasts are successful?

Although some podcasts are extremely successful, for others, it’s a tough market. To create a thriving podcast, you need to work on loyalty, and allowing customers to be in an ongoing opt-in relationship. Podcasting stats show that 12% of podcasts have only one episode published, while 6% haven’t made it past two episodes.

Why do podcasts fail?

Out of two million podcasts out there, about half are still active. Yet, many of those will eventually fade out. The main reasons these formats fail are connected to is failing to identify proper expectations and audiences for targeting. In some cases, podcasters make a show they think others want, rather than making a show they want to create. As a result, that doesn’t inspire listeners. In those, or other cases, the podcasters fail to connect with the audience, the podcast is set to fail.

Do podcasters make money?

There are several ways podcasts bring money to their creators. Two are the primary ones — affiliate sales and advertisement during the show. Looking at podcast industry statistics, we can see that the amount of money this format can generate for an ad is per 100,000 listeners (CPM). The rates, on the other hand, range from $20 to $100 CPM. In the case of affiliate sales, for podcasts with 10,000 downloads per episode, creators can earn between $500 and $900 per episode.

Are podcasts prerecorded?

The main difference between podcasts and live radio lies exactly in the fact that the former are pre-recorded and can easily be adjusted before going live. Unlike live radio that goes directly into the air.

How many downloads is a successful podcast?

There are some podcast statistics that can help you categorize your content. For example, if your episode gets 26 downloads in the first seven days of its release, you belong in the top 50% of podcasts. Further, over 72 downloads, puts you in the top 25%, while over 231 downloads, mark you as one of the top 10%. Finally, those with 539 and over 3062 downloads are in the top 5% and top 1%, respectively.

Why are podcasts better than radio?

Although similar, these two forms are quite different. For example, with radio, you have a schedule set, and you work according to that, unlike podcasts. Moreover, radio stations have different target groups. Namely, they aim to please the mass audience, while podcasts target a niche with a particular topic which makes them a better advertising medium for that niche. Finally, podcast statistics show another important advantage. Radio is live and there is no editing, while in podcasts they come pre-recorded so there is always a place for adjustments.

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