11 min read

17 Essential Podcast Statistics You Need to Know in 2024

Herd 1 profile
Jack Shepherd
Co-Founder & Marketing Director
Updated on 23 Apr 2024

From blogs to videos, there are so many mediums available that allow you to express yourself creatively or grow your online brand. But one medium that shouldn’t be overlooked is podcasting.

Podcasting has continued to skyrocket in popularity over recent years, with more creators starting shows of their own and even more listeners tuning in. These days, there truly is a podcast for everyone, no matter who you are or what you’re interested in.

To help you see just how much they’ve grown, we’ve rounded up some of the essential podcast statistics you need to know in 2023. This data covers their popularity in the UK and worldwide, which platforms are the most popular for listeners, and so much more. Let’s dive in!

Podcast Statistics Worldwide

On a global scale, the podcast statistics are pretty impressive. Considering so many people around the globe have access to the tools needed to start a podcast, it’s no wonder they’ve become such a popular medium for creative expression. Here are some insights into the impact of podcasting worldwide:

1. There Are Over 4.25 Million Podcasts Registered Worldwide

If you’re looking to discover a new podcast, there are plenty of options available to you. Currently, there are over 4.25 million podcasts registered. Apple Podcasts is home to over 2.6 million podcasts and more than 87.6 million podcast episodes, all ready to download. That means it should be pretty easy to find something that interests you.

2. The Country Where Podcasting is Most Popular is South Korea

Those in South Korea love tuning into their favourite podcasts because the country boasts the biggest podcast listenership in the globe. Spain, Ireland, Sweden, and the United States round out the top five.

Graph showing the countries where podcasts are most popular.

3. Podcasting is Most Popular in Brazil

While podcasting has gained immense popularity in the U.S., it doesn't clinch the top spot for growth or listenership.

Surprisingly, as of 2022, Brazil took the lead in podcast consumption, with Sweden and Mexico following suit. The regions of North America and the Asia Pacific boast the highest number of avid listeners.

In South Korea, a remarkable 58% of adults tune in as monthly listeners, showcasing a widespread engagement with podcast content.

Interestingly, in numerous countries, podcasting continues to witness a surge in engagement each passing year. It's a global trend with listeners tuning in from all corners of the world!

Podcast Statistics in the UK and US

With so many genres of podcasts available today, it’s safe to say they appeal to listeners all around the world. But let’s take a moment and look at some podcast statistics straight from the UK. Here’s what you should know about the popularity of podcasts among UK listeners:

4. 32% of UK Adults Listen to Podcasts Monthly

According to the recent Q3 2023 RAJAR results, a substantial portion of UK adults, precisely one-third, are hopping on the podcast wagon as monthly listeners. The survey shows that 32% of adults in the UK make podcasts a regular part of their monthly listening routine. It's a growing trend in the audio landscape!

5. 82 Million People in the U.S. Tuned into Podcasts in 2021

Diving into the U.S. Podcasting Industry, the landscape has seen significant shifts over the years. In 2006, only 22% of American adults were aware of podcasting. Fast forward to 2022, and this awareness has skyrocketed to an impressive 79% Podcasting has become a prevalent pastime, with over 79% of respondents familiar with the format, and a whopping 82 million people tuned in to podcasts in 2021. Projections indicate that this number is poised to climb even higher, with expectations of reaching over 100 million listeners by the year 2024.

Podcast Statistics on Apple

There are various platforms on which creators can upload their podcasts for their listeners to tune in. Having so many options is preferable since you can be more accessible to your audience. The Apple Podcasts platform is one of the top options available. Here are some podcast statistics that might interest you regarding Apple Podcasts specifically:

6. Apple Has 460,080 Active Podcasts

There are 460,080 active podcasts currently on Apple Podcasts (as of October 2023). That’s a pretty impressive number, but it is worth noting that almost half of them have only three or fewer episodes. This data shows that many creators start podcasts only to abandon them soon after, creating these inflated numbers.

7. Apple Podcasts is the Most Popular App for Listening to Podcast Episodes

Where do you prefer to tune into your favourite podcast? Well, it turns out that Apple Podcasts comes out on top in the popularity contest. Their platform claims 37.4% of listeners, while Spotify is in second place with 26.8%. These numbers do seem to fluctuate a bit because Spotify was once on top. Check out this data from Buzzsprout, a podcast-hosting service:

  • In October 2021, Spotify had a slight lead on Apple with 31.2% of listeners. Apple had 31.1%.
  • As of April 2022, Apple regained its lead, with 37.4% of podcast listeners choosing their platform. Spotify fell to 26.8%.
  • Falling behind these two powerhouses, the next popular ways to listen to a podcast were through a web browser or via Google Podcasts.

Podcast Statistics on Spotify

Since Apple and Spotify are clearly in a battle to be the number one podcasting platform, it’s only fair that we look at some podcast statistics that provide a look into Spotify’s success. Here’s what you need to know if you’re considering using the platform to host or listen to a podcast:

8. Spotify is Home to Over 4.7 Million Podcasts

Spotify proudly boasts a whopping 4.7 million podcasts in its lineup, surpassing Apple, which features 2.5 million as of January 2023. The Podcast Index sheds light on the vast content landscape with an estimated 4,216,180 podcast episodes currently available across the digital airwaves.

9. Spotify Listening is on the Rise

Over the past ten years, there has been a significant surge in the number of Americans tuning in to podcasts. As per the "The Infinite Dial" report by Edison Research, the latest data reveals that as of 2023, a noteworthy 42% of Americans aged 12 and older have engaged with a podcast in the past month. Interestingly, this percentage has maintained a consistent trend since 2020, when 37% of Americans had tuned in to a podcast within the past month.

Podcast Download Statistics

Generating downloads is a crucial factor when it comes to the success of your podcast. It shows that listeners are tuning in and engaging with your content. However, you might be wondering how many downloads it takes for your podcast to be considered a hit. Check out these podcast statistics for some helpful insights:

10. A Popularity Score Around 40-50 May Land You a Spot in an Official Spotify Playlist

Typically, the higher an artist's popularity score edges towards 40 or 50, the better their chances of landing a spot in an official Spotify playlist.

If your release doesn't include any artists within this popularity sweet spot, you might encounter challenges in securing the features and exposure you aspire to achieve on Spotify. It's all about finding that magic popularity range!

11. 32 Downloads in Your First Month Will Place You in the Top 50% of Podcasters

Exceeding 32 downloads within the inaugural week of a new episode's release propels you into the upper echelon, placing you among the top 50% of podcasters.

Podcast Length Statistics

12. The Most Common Length for a Podcast Episode is Between 20-40 Minutes

If your podcast episodes are too long, it could cause you to turn off listeners. Data shows that the most common podcast episode length is somewhere between 20-40 minutes, so aim for that area. This accounts for around 31% of all podcast episodes.

The triumph of a podcast doesn't hinge on its duration – an hour-long show can be just as impactful as one under 20 minutes.

There's no need to squeeze your content into a predetermined time frame; let your podcast's theme dictate its length.

Consider this: if your podcast aims to educate young minds on history, it's wise to keep it concise, informative, and engaging. Given kids' shorter attention spans, an ideal podcast length might hover around 15 to 20 minutes.

    13. 93% of Podcast Listeners Will Listen to the Entire Episode

    Back in 2019, a whopping 93% of podcast initiators were sticking around for the entire episode, as per the available data. It turns out the commitment is mutual, with a solid 80% of podcast enthusiasts tuning in for the entirety of each episode they kickstart. Adding to the audio feast, the average podcast aficionado indulges in a generous serving of 7 shows every week.

    Digging into demographics, a recent study unveils that 66% of podcast devotees boast a college degree, be it a bachelor's or higher, and flaunt an average annual household income clocking in at $75,000 or beyond. Podcasts are not just heard; they're experienced by a diverse and educated audience.

    Podcast Growth Statistics

    Podcasting didn’t always garner the popularity it does today. Interest in podcasts for both creators and listeners continues to explode. Just check out these podcast statistics that show how this medium has grown in recent years:

    14. There Were Just Over 500,000 Active Podcasts in 2018

    Going back in time to 2018, there were only just over 500,000 podcasts worldwide. Now, that number sits at over 2 million, which shows just how popular this medium has become over the last few years. Not only that, but it shows no signs of slowing down anytime soon.

    Podcast Advertising Statistics

    Podcasting isn’t just a way to share valuable information or tell exciting stories. For many, it’s become a source of revenue. Many creators are making a full-time income from their podcasts because brands are seeing the value in purchasing ad spots as a way to target their audience. Here are some podcast statistics on advertising you should know:

    15. In the U.S. Alone, Podcast Advertising Revenue is Expected to Pass $2.3 Billion in 2023

    Marketers aren’t afraid to spend their advertising dollars on a thoughtfully placed podcast ad. They’re expected to spend a whopping $2.3 billion in 2023. These sponsorships can be done on an episode-by-episode basis, or a marketer might choose to sponsor a podcast for an entire season.

    U.S. podcasts ad revenues graphic

    16. More Than Half of Listeners Say They’re at Least Somewhat More Likely to Make a Purchase After Hearing a Podcast Ad

    Podcast ads can be powerful when done right. More than half of listeners said they were somewhat more likely to purchase an offering from a brand after hearing an advertisement on a podcast. The key to making this work is to target the right audience with the right offering at the right time.

    Brand discovery via podcasts

    Podcast Genre Statistics

    Podcasts cover just about every topic and genre these days, making it easy to find something that appeals to your interests and your mood on any given day. That’s what makes it such an incredible medium for creators and listeners alike! Check out these podcast genre statistics to learn more:

    17. Comedy is the Most Popular Podcast Genre

    There are business podcasts, true crime podcasts, and everything in between. However, the genre that garners the most attention is comedy. 22% of podcast listeners in the U.S. said they were interested in tuning into a podcast that was going to make them laugh. News, true crime, and sports were the genres that followed comedy in popularity.

    Graph showing the leading podcast genres in the United States

    Let These Podcast Statistics Inspire You

    If you’ve been on the fence about incorporating podcasting as a new medium within your business, let these podcast statistics inspire you to finally get started.

    Podcasting is an amazing way to connect with your audience and build brand awareness, and there’s no time like the present to launch a show.

    Here at The Social Shepherd, we can help you develop a social media marketing strategy that will skyrocket the success of your podcast. Contact us today to learn more.

    Herd 1 profile
    Written by
    Jack Shepherd
    Hi! I'm Jack, Co-Founder of Social Shepherd. I didn't choose the name of the agency, but now you can see where it's from...
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