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Jack Shepherd Co-Founder & Marketing Director
Updated on 26 Jul 2023

18 Essential Podcast Statistics You Need to Know in 2023

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 4.1 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 4.1 million podcasts registered. Apple Podcasts is home to over 2 million podcasts and more than 48 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 Growing the Fastest in Chile

Chile has seen 83.9% growth when it comes to podcasting, making it a hot spot for this medium. The countries that trail behind Chile but aren’t too far off are Argentina, Peru, Mexico, and China.

Podcast Statistics in the UK

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. 50% of UK Adults Have Listened to a Podcast

For anyone looking to create a podcast with a UK audience in mind, it’s worth noting that 50% of UK adults have listened to a podcast before. Considering podcasting only continues to grow in popularity, that number will likely continue to grow in the coming years, which is promising.

5. 25% of UK Adults Are Regular Podcast Listeners

On the flip side, the percentage of UK adults that consider themselves to be regular podcast listeners is rather low. Only 25% tune into podcast episodes frequently, so it’s important for podcast hosts to keep their audience engaged and encourage them to come back for more.

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 Claims to List Over 2 Million Podcast Shows

Apple reported having over 2 million podcast shows on its platform. 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 3.2 Million Podcasts

In December 2021, Spotify reported having over 3.2 million podcasts on its platform. It’s an impressive number and gives Spotify a bit of a lead on Apple in that department. However, it’s safe to say not all of those podcasts are still considered to be active.

9. Spotify Reported Podcasting Listening Increased in 2021

According to Spotify’s 2021 year-end report, there was an increase in podcast listening across all major age groups. There was a 57% increase in podcast listening for those aged 55 to 64 and a 53% increase with listeners 65 or older. Even those aged 18 to 24 were listening to podcasts 27% more in 2021 when compared to the previous year.

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. 9,000 Downloads Gets You a Spot in the Top 5% of Podcasts

To land among the top 5% of podcasts would be a pretty impressive feat! To make that happen, though, you’ll need to make sure you have a loyal audience ready and waiting to download your next episode. That’s because it reportedly takes 9,000 downloads to get you ranking this highly. To be in the top 10% of podcasts, an episode should have around 3,400 downloads.

11. The Average Podcast Generates 141 Downloads in Its First Month

While the aforementioned are great goals to work toward, it will take time to accomplish this, so don’t get discouraged. On average, a podcast generates 141 downloads in its first month. Be realistic with the number of downloads you can expect to receive for your show, and be persistent. Your audience will grow over time, and so will your downloads.

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.

  • 15% of podcasts are less than 10 minutes.
  • 14% are between 10-20 minutes.
  • 31% are between 20-40 minutes.
  • 22% are between 40-60 minutes.
  • 17% are over 60 minutes.
Graph showing the most common podcast episode durations.

13. 65% of Podcast Listeners Will Listen to the Entire Episode

That’s a pretty decent number, don’t you think? As a creator, you want to know that people are consuming your content in its entirety and that they’re enjoying what you’ve poured your heart and soul into. So, it’s great to see that 65% of podcast listeners will listen to a full episode, as opposed to abandoning it halfway through. Tuning out too early means they’re missing out on valuable information!

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.

15. 78% of the U.S. Population Knows What a Podcast is, Up from 64%

Can you believe there was a time when very few people were familiar with podcasts? Currently, around 78% of the U.S. population is aware of what a podcast is. That number is up from 64% in 2018, which shows more and more people are discovering them.

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:

16. In the U.S. Alone, Podcast Advertising Revenue is Expected to Pass $2 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 $2.2 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

17. 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 are covering 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:

18. 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.

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