30+ Fresh Podcast Statistics To Tune Into

ByDanica Jovic
December 13,2022

Hi everyone. I’m Meg Roy, and this is the Grow Your Business podcast.

Today’s guest is Joe Donovan. You might know Joe as an award-winning author and successful entrepreneur. You probably didn’t know that he is also a podcast-marketing expert. 

He’s here to talk about podcast advertising: How and why brands use podcasts to get their name out there. He has promised to share some fun and valuable podcast statistics and facts. Welcome to Grow Your Business, Joe!

Sounds familiar? If so, you may be among the 38% of Americans who enjoy listening to podcasts at least once a month. These audio essays delve into current events, hobbies, obscure facts, philosophy, history, music, and any other subject imaginable. If you’d like to learn something, odds are there’s a podcast for it.

Podcast Statistics - Editor’s Choice:

  • Two hundred twenty-six million Americans have heard about podcasts.
  • 38% of Americans listen to podcasts at least once a month.
  • There are over 2.4 million active podcasts in 2022.
  • On average, 45% of podcast listeners have an annual household income of more than $250,000.
  • Two million podcasts are registered on Google.
  • 51% of podcast listeners say they pay more attention to ads they hear on a podcast than through other types of media.

General Podcast Facts and Stats

Podcasts are gaining popularity across the US, allowing everyone with an audio interface and headphones to share their thoughts.

So, whether you’re a podcasting superfan, always on the lookout for your next favorite show, or someone who’s acquired an audio interface and is looking to offer some of your own ideas through podcasting, here are some intriguing facts and numbers about this novel media form.

226 million Americans have heard of podcasts.

(Edison Research)

To put it another way, 79% of Americans are aware that podcasts exist, according to the latest podcast audience statistics. This doesn’t necessarily mean they listen to them – it just means they are familiar with the concept.

This has not always been the case. At the beginning of the millennium, only a small percentage of consumers had heard about podcasts. And back in 2006, only 22% of US adults said they were familiar with podcasting.

62% of Americans over the age of 12 have listened to podcasts.

(Edison Research)

About two-thirds of Americans above the age of 12 have listened to podcasts. That’s 177 million podcast listeners; these numbers tell us that most people who have heard about podcasts also listened to them at least once.

38% of Americans listen to podcasts at least once a month.

(Edison Research)

This is fewer listeners than in 2021 (41%), but more than in 2020 (37%). Does that mean that podcasts have become mainstream? Well, more than a third of the US teen and adult population, or over 130 million people, listen to or watch podcasts at least once a month, so we’d say yes. Also, podcast listener statistics show 43% of Americans in the 35-54 age bracket listen to podcast shows once a week, up from 39% in 2021.

How many podcasts are there? One report says over 2.4 million.

(DemandSage)

Podcasts are like spoken-word blogs in that, like bloggers, podcasters share their experiences and cover a wide array of topics. There is probably a podcast out there about any subject you can think of. Considering that there were two million podcasts with at least one episode on Apple Podcasts in 2021, this seems pretty possible. On the downside, half of those had only three or fewer episodes published.

2 million podcasts are registered on Google. 

(Variety, Tumblr)

That might seem impressive - but then again, there are 562.5 million blogs registered on Tumblr alone. So why is podcast growth slower than blog growth? According to podcast length statistics, consumers often lose interest in podcasts, finding episodes to be too long or boring. To help people find the most popular podcasts, Google developed an indexing system for listeners to sift through particular shows and episodes.

There are podcast episodes available in over a hundred languages.

(GMR Transcription)

Podcasts are great for sharing knowledge, experiences, and information with a broad audience. You can listen to people chat away about politics, business, cooking, and even knitting – the options are endless.

According to GMR Transcription podcast statistics, whether you are interested in Asian, Hindu, Texan, Jewish, or African-American content, you will surely find plenty of creators to listen to.

61.1 million American families have at least one music podcast fan.

(Marketing Charts)

The results of a 2018 study showed the most popular podcast genre among American families is music. It was followed by TV and movies, with 60.5 million households listening to podcasts on these topics regularly.

The other major podcast genres, including technology, science, politics, arts, games, sports, business, and religion, are popular among 49 to 59 million households across the United States, according to podcast popularity statistics.

Global Podcast Statistics

As a staple of internet culture, podcasts are widely available across the globe. While the most polished shows are popular for a reason, nothing is stopping you from researching more niche topics and learning, for example, more about what Vikings did when they were home. Yes, there is a podcast about that!

Let’s take a quick trip around the world to see how well countries besides the US have adopted this new medium.

There were 424.2 million global podcast listeners in 2022. 

(Insider Intelligence)

This is a 10% increase from 2021. The US led the chart with 117.8 million monthly podcast listeners in 2021, representing 40% of internet users; China and Brazil ranked second and third on the list, with 85.6 million Chinese podcast listeners and 39.2 million Brazilians, respectively.

However, these numbers are due to these countries' large populations, making the percentage of listeners compared to a country's population a more solid metric. Sweden ranks second after the US in this category, with 34.6% of Swedish internet users being podcast listeners.

58% of citizens in South Korea listened to podcasts in 2018.

(OZY, Insider Intelligence)

Before the pandemic, podcast listenership was booming in South Korea. More than half of the population listened to podcasts monthly, while two out of three Koreans considered themselves podcast fans. However, with the COVID-19 pandemic behind us, people are finding less time for podcasts, and growth is slowing down.

Some countries, like China and Argentina, are expected to experience steady growth in podcast adoption over the next two years. South Korea, meanwhile, has apparently reached a stop in its podcasting craze, with a mere 5.9% predicted growth in 2024, compared to 9.7%, and 8.8% for 2022 and 2023, respectively.

90% of Australians know what podcasts are.

(Edison Research)

In line with this high awareness rate, podcast growth statistics show that Australians overtook Americans in terms of podcast adoption in 2022. Compared to the US’s 38%, 40% of Australians listened to a podcast at least once in a given month.

10.5 million adults in the UK are weekly podcast listeners.

(Rajar)

In other words, 19% of UK adults listen to at least one podcast per week. They are the most popular among 24- to 35-year-olds (11%). Only 2% of those over the age of 55 have caught the podcast bug in the UK, however.

Podcast Listener Demographics

Who listens to podcasts the most? While it does seem like a young people’s game, not a single demographic group is “safe” from podcasts. Let’s take a look at some of the demographics related to the podcasting world.

Podcasts represent 10% of all content millennials listen to. 

(Billboard)

Millennials are particularly keen on podcasts! And why wouldn’t they be? Podcasts fit perfectly into their busy daily schedules, allowing them to listen to the latest episodes of popular shows regardless of time and place.

The most popular podcast platforms let users stream or download podcasts, music, and videos, uniting all their passions in one place.

53% of US monthly podcast listeners were men, 46% were women, and 1% were non-binary people.

(Edison Research)

Men in the US are more likely to watch or listen to podcasts than women, according to statistics on podcast demographics. Still, the shares of men and women in the US who listen to podcasts are pretty close, too - 41% and 36%, respectively.

47 million women listened to podcasts in 2022. 

(SXM Media, Edison Research)

Statistics on podcast listening in the US, according to The Women's 2022 Podcast Report, show that the number of women who listen to podcasts is steadily going up. This additionally means that more than one in three US women over the age of 18 has listened to a podcast in the past month. 

A podcast listener is 68% more likely to have a postgraduate degree.

(Music Oomph)

Podcasts are becoming increasingly popular among highly educated people. It is 45% more likely for a podcast listener to have a college degree. Looking at gender differences in podcasting and education, women who listen to podcasts have higher education and a higher income than the overall US population, according to podcast analytics. 

On average, 45% of podcast listeners have more than $250,000 in annual household income.

(Music Oomph)

Podcast listeners are mostly young, educated, and rich. Almost half of all podcast listeners have an annual income of a quarter of a million dollars.

59% of people listening to podcasts in the US are white. 

(Edison Research)

The demographics of podcast listeners show that most American consumers who listen to podcasts are white. Additionally, 16% of listeners are Black, 16% are Hispanic, and 3% are Asian.

Where To Find Podcasts

It certainly seems like streaming services are mushrooming these days. While this does mean you’ll have more choices when it comes to podcast variety, it does have the potential to become a conundrum. To see how people deal with that, let’s look at popular podcasting statistics on where people find listening material.

39% of smart-speaker owners listen to podcasts at least once a week.

(National Public Media)

This represents a 22% increase over the past half a decade, as just under a third (32%) of smart-speaker owners listened to podcasts weekly in 2017.

How People Listen to Podcasts

Now, here are some fun facts about users’ listening habits.

21% of average podcast listeners listen to four or five different episodes weekly.

(Edison Research) 

Additionally, The Infinite Dial’s report found that 18% listen to two episodes a week, another 18% to 11 or more episodes, and another 18% indulge in six to 10 podcast episodes per week.

70% of podcast subscribers listen to most of the episodes they download.

(Rajar)

The MIDAS survey podcast download statistics also show that 68% of those who use podcast platforms to download episodes are likely to watch or listen to the whole broadcast. In other words, not everyone is interested in everything the podcasters have to say and instead listens to only the parts that strike their fancy.

66% of study participants reported having screen fatigue during the COVID-19 pandemic.

(MAGNA)

In 2021, Spotify and Magna conducted a study comparing ad receptivity among digital audio and digital video formats. 66% of those who participated in the study claimed to have experienced screen fatigue during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Gen Z study participants were the most likely, with 44% of examinees, to experience a lot of screen fatigue compared to other generations. Additionally, 29% of people cite screen fatigue as the primary reason they made the switch to audio content.

Every week, podcast listeners tune in to seven different shows on average.

(Music Oomph)

The average podcast listener watches seven shows per week and subscribes to six new shows. This hardly comes as a surprise, as there’s such an array of podcast topics available. How many of those shows become a staple in someone’s life is, however, a different matter entirely.

32% of drivers prefer to listen to podcasts in the car.

(Edison Research)

Podcast statistics for 2022 show us that podcasts have taken consumers by storm. These on-demand audio files allow consumers to listen to content anytime, anywhere. Listening to podcasts while driving around has become a daily staple for many.

Thirty-two percent of those aged 18 and up who have driven or ridden in a car in the last month now listen to podcasts in the car. This marks a 2% increase compared to 2021 and a 4% increase from 2020.

Compared to other audio sources, podcasts are still lagging behind AM/FM radio, which is the go-to for a staggering 73% of Americans over 18 who are regularly in cars, although it’s still a decrease from the 81% of 2020.

More than half of Americans do chores while listening to podcasts. 

(Edison Research)

Multitasking and listening go hand in hand. Fifty-nine percent of consumers listen to a podcast while doing housework. Fifty-one percent like to cook and listen to shows at the same time. Forty-four percent prefer listening to a podcast while running or exercising.

Podcast listeners claim podcasts are an excellent way to relax - about 50% go to bed while listening to their favorite shows. As these numbers represent the state of affairs from 2019, we imagine the effects were even stronger during and after the pandemic.

Podcasts and Business 

Here are some of our favorite podcast statistics that can help us understand the business aspect of this popular media.

94% of podcast consumers are active on at least one social media channel.

(Podcast Insights, Edison Research)

Podcast listeners are active social media users, according to the latest podcast stats, more so than the general US population, of whom 82% have at least one social media channel, with the average American having 7.1 social media accounts. They are also more likely to follow their favorite brands on social media channels such as Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, and YouTube.

More than half of US avid podcast listeners pay attention to the ads. 

(Edison Research)

Super listeners are more likely to listen to ads on podcasts than on any other medium: 51% of podcast listeners paid more attention to podcast ads compared to the ads on other mediums, which is 3% more than in 2020. The study considers “super listeners,” those who consume five or more hours of podcasts weekly.

Thirty-one percent of podcast listeners say they pay the most attention to ads when they’re integrated into a podcast episode in the form of a personalized conversation with the host, while 26% pay more attention to ads simply read by the host. 

Sponsorship messages and pre-recorded ads have less engagement, at 24% and 20%, respectively.

Businesses spent $1.7 billion on podcast advertising in 2022.

(Insider Intelligence)

Podcast ad revenue is expected to continue growing: In 2023, US podcast ad expenditure will exceed $2 billion, accounting for approximately one-third of digital audio services ad spending.

39% of small and medium-sized business owners are podcast listeners.

(Bredin)

Podcast listenership statistics show that the podcasting craze didn’t skip small business owners, and they were pretty popular even in 2018. And why would it? Apart from bringing information and entertainment to those long nights of product packaging or cleaning up after a long shift, you could even start your own show.

Podcasts can be a great way to present your brand to listeners, explain your mission, connect with your existing customers, and even gain new ones.

Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday are the best days to release a podcast.

(Income School)

What is the best day to release a podcast? Podcast-marketing specialists say that consumers are most likely to download episodes on Mondays, Tuesdays, Tuesdays, and Wednesdays, especially if the podcast releases at night, between 2 a.m. and 5 a.m. Saturday and Sunday are the days when the number of downloads is the lowest. 

Spotify claims to have 4 million podcast titles in its library. 

(Spotify)

Counting all the podcasts across multiple platforms has proven extremely tricky. Some podcasts remove all but their latest episodes from their libraries, some exist on multiple platforms, and some never publish anything more than the first episode.

However, with the popularity of podcasts, the 4 million number is all but surprising. This rings particularly true in light of the news that TikTok might be looking to expand into the podcast universe.

More than half of all podcasts are up to an hour long.

(Buzzsprout)

Buzzsprout, a podcasting giant, reports that more than 50% of podcasts hosted on its platform have an average podcast length of between 20 and 60 minutes. Seventeen percent of all episodes pass the 60-minute mark, while the least common are short episodes that are shorter than 10 minutes, with only 10% of all published episodes.

Bottom Line

The convenience of doing your chores while being entertained is surely a plus, but the familiarity of listening to your favorite host talking about a topic that truly matters to you is what makes this medium so popular. So put on your preferred podcast, sit back, and enjoy the show.

Frequently Asked Questions
What is a podcast?

A podcast is an audio or video file, usually available as a single episode. A podcast can be watched or listened to via a streaming platform or downloaded to a mobile device or computer. The podcast industry covers a number of niches, including music, culture, society, comedy, health, business, and many others.

How many podcasts are there?

It is estimated that 2.4 million podcasts with more than 66 million episodes exist on the web in 2022. A popular podcasting platform, Buzzsprout, is home to 119,186 shows, while Spotify claims to host 4 million titles in its offering.

How can you see how many listeners a podcast has?

Podcasts exist across various platforms and websites, meaning it is difficult to track podcast growth and the number of listeners following a specific show. However, there are methods to find out the number of listeners. 

The easiest way to see how many listeners a podcast has is to check out the podcast download numbers and the number of subscribers. This is possible for podcasts hosted on platforms such as Spotify, Google Play, iTunes, SoundCloud, and others. 

To estimate the number of listeners, you can use a web analytics tool to estimate the number of listeners. This is not something you should sweat over when choosing a podcast-hosting platform, as every platform today provides tools for tracking subscribers by IP address and device. This way, platforms offer specific data on podcast listenership. For example, iTunes podcast analytics by Apple provide podcasters with information about how often users listen to shows and episodes and how the popularity of each episode changes over time.

How many downloads make a successful podcast?

Getting between 25 and 30 downloads per month automatically puts you in the top half of all podcasters. The most successful podcast episode had around 50,000 downloads in only 30 days. 

An episode with over 938 downloads in the first week post-publishing earns you a place in the top 5% of podcasts, and 4,683 downloads put you in the top 1%. For the average podcast, the downloads hit around 141 by the 30-day mark.

Do podcasters make money?

Some do. Podcasters make money through sponsorships, donations, affiliate marketing, and listener support.

If you have listened to a podcast, you might have heard the host asking for financial support from listeners. This is an excellent way to earn money for podcasters who provide great content. The most subscribed-to podcasts might also sell products or services.

How many people listen to podcasts?

There are 424.2 million global podcast listeners. In the US alone, the latest podcast statistics tell us 38% of the US population listens to a podcast at least once a week.

Sources

About the author

Danica’s greatest passion is writing. From small businesses, tech, and digital marketing, to academic folklore analysis, movie reviews, and anthropology — she’s done it all. A literature major with a passion for business, software, and fun new gadgets, she has turned her writing craft into a profitable blogging business. When she’s not writing for SmallBizGenius, Danica enjoys hiking, trying to perfect her burger-making skills, and dreaming about vacations in Greece.

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1 comment
Freddy Martin
11 months ago
reply arrow icon
Great article, Danica. Fantastic metrics. Quick question for clarification, you said "An episode with 9,000 downloads earns a place in the top 5% of podcasts, and 3,400 downloads puts you in the top 10%." Is this a lifetime stat or within the first 30 days? My podcast gets to 9,000 downloads in about 45 days, so I feel like we're doing pretty good. You gave me a goal to shoot for. And are you defining 'downloads' as actual file downloads into an app or do you include streaming listens as well?