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36 podcast statistics that shows the growing popularity of the medium

Who’d have thought Podcasts - a portmanteau of words iPod and broadcasting - become so popular? While the word was coined back in 2004, the medium took its own sweet time to gain followership. And the breakout moment appeared in 2014 with the launch of Serial, which became the fastest podcast to reach 5 million downloads. Fast forward to now, and podcasts have become much more common with not just print publications having podcasts, but a lot of celebrities joining the bandwagon too. 

Still unable to believe that podcasts are here to stay? Well, then read on as we’ve collated podcast metrics, statistics and insights to show how popular podcasts have become.

 Number of podcasts

  1. 877,000+

that's the number of podcasts out there. (December 2019, Podcast Industry Statistics)

  1. ~30million

episodes are out there. (December 2019, Podcast Industry Statistics)

 Most popular podcasts

  1. NPR

is the most popular podcast publisher with over 70 shows amassing roughly 24million US listeners every month. (December 2019, Podcast Industry Audience Rankings - Podtrac

  1. The Daily

New York Times’ daily podcast is the most popular podcast show. (December 2019, Podcast Industry Audience Rankings - Podtrac)

  1. The Joe Rogan Experience

Per Apple Podcasts’ most popular list in the US, JRE garners the most listens. (as of Feb 2020, Chartable)

  1. The Shrink Next Door

Wondery’s eight-part episodic series is the most popular new podcast of 2019 (Top 20 New Podcasts of 2019 - Podtrac)

  1. True crime

is the most popular podcast category, followed by podcasts in society and culture. Interesting, News & Politics comes in at the third position.

 Podcast audience insights

  1. 70%

of the US population knows what podcasting is. The number is up from 64 percent in 2018 (Infinite Dial 2019

  1. 51%

(or 144million) of the population in the USA have listened to a podcast. The number has increased from 44 percent in 2018 (Infinite Dial 2019)

  1. 32%

(or 90million) of the US population has listened to a podcast in the last month - a 6 percent increase from 2018 (Infinite Dial 2019)

  1. 22%

(or 62million) people in the US listen to podcasts every week... which has increased from 17% in the year prior (Infinite Dial 2019) 

  1. 55%

of the podcast listeners are male (Autumn 2019, Rajar MIDAS)

  1. 70

is the number of podcasts that more than 25 percent of the users have subscribed to, a sharp increase from previous years. (September 2019, The Podcast Trends Report 2019)

  1. 35%

of the people listen to more than 10 podcasts in a month (September 2019, The Podcast Trends Report 2019).

  1. 82.4%

of the people listen to 7+ hours worth of podcasts in a week, which has bumped up from 76.8 percent in 2019. (September 2019, The Podcast Trends Report 2019) 

  1. ~80%

of the people listen to podcasts while commuting (September 2019, The Podcast Trends Report 2019)

  1. 90%

of the people listen to podcasts at home, contrary to popular belief. (Infinite Dial 2019)

  1. 164million

Monthly podcast listeners are estimated by 2023, which is almost double the number of listeners in 2019 (Activate 2019 Consumer Tech & Media Research Study)

  1. Music

39 percent of people consider music to be the topic of choice for podcasts, ahead of topics such as news and entertainment. (Infinite Dial 2019)

  1. 70%

Of the people listen to podcasts while doing nothing, which again, dispels the notion that one does other things while listening to podcasts. (Infinite Dial 2019)

  1. 87%

Following up to the point above, users love listening to podcasts because they can do other things while listening. 

  1. 47%

Of the people listen to podcasts within 24 hours of downloading (Infinite Dial 2019)

  1. >90%

of the people listen to most of the podcast. (Infinite Dial 2019)

  1. 26%

of the people listen to podcasts at a faster playback speed (Infinite Dial 2019)

  1. 74%

of the people listen to podcasts to learn new things (Infinite Dial 2019)

 Podcast listening behaviour insights

  1. 65%

of the people listen to podcasts on their smartphone, tablet or a portable device (Infinite Dial 2019)

  1. 34%

of the people listen to podcasts on their smart speakers (Infinite Dial 2019)

  1. ~63%

of the people use Apple Podcasts to listen to podcasts, with Spotify coming in at the second spot. (May 2019, a16z

  1. Spotify vs Apple Podcasts

While Spotify became serious about podcasts recently only, it’s been able to quickly replace Apple Podcasts as the de facto app of choice for listening to podcasts. (October 2019, Voxnest

 Podcasts vs other content

  1. 66%

is the number of people who consume podcasts more than they watch television. (September 2019, The Podcast Trends Report 2019)

  1. 28%

of the people listen to podcasts, which means podcasts dominate the audio content category.

 Podcast challenges

  1. Discovery continues to be a big challenge, as almost 80 percent of users get to know about a new podcast through cross-promotion on a podcast they’re already listening to. (September 2019, The Podcast Trends Report 2019)  

  2. 75%

of the people say that they don’t listen to podcasts because they don’t think they are for them. (Infinite Dial 19)

 Podcast advertising statistics

  1. 50%+

of people would be more likely to consider the brand if they have heard its advertisement on a podcast. (Infinite Dial 2019)

  1. $1.1billion

Estimated revenue generated by podcasts. This could grow to $3.3billion+ levels by 2025. (December 2019, Deloitte Insights

  1. 10+

podcasts have been turned into TV shows or movies, and hence is becoming an interesting monetisation opportunity for creators. (Source)

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