Last Updated: February 11, 2021
Remember when Google started showing you YouTube videos along with other relevant content? How great was that?
And now the same is happening with podcasting shows.
The numbers behind the ever-growing podcast listenership explain the search engine’s new move to understand audio content better.
And of course index it.
But what does this mean for you?
Let’s unpack some compelling podcast statistics together.
The Most Telling Podcast Statistics (Editor’s Choice):
- There are over 800,000 shows to date and the number keeps growing.
- Nearly a third of the US population aged between 25 and 34 are podcast listeners.
- There were over 30 million episodes as of June 2019.
- 32% of American people listen to podcasts at least monthly, which makes for 90 million listeners.
- 80% of listeners go through the entire episode.
- 54% of podcast listeners are likely to buy an advertised product.
So, how many podcasts are there?
While this question is a moving target, here are some podcast numbers we’ve been keeping an eye on:
1. Podcast listener statistics show that a mind-blowing 79% of the US population aged 12-54 listened to a podcast in July 2019.
(Source: Edison Research)
And the numbers keep climbing: 41% of consumers say they tune in to podcasts more regularly than in 2018. 71% of listeners are on a quest to learn new things and hear trusted product reviews.
2. 22% or around 62 million Americans listen to podcasts weekly.
That’s an estimated 62 million Americans who have made podcast shows part of their routine. Regular podcast listeners average seven shows a week, while up to 6% admit to being ‘avid podcast fans’.
Over half of podcast listeners further have a full-time job and are 45% more likely to be earning $250,000 or more a year.
Podcast listener demographics are clearly on your side.
In case you’re wondering who listens to podcasts, you got it: just about everyone. But if you choose to compete for ear time, there’s still room to grow:
3. Over a third of the non-listeners say there aren’t any podcasts that cover the topics they’re interested in.
(Source: Edison Research)
Hard to believe, isn’t it?
Chances are they just don’t know how to find the perfect podcast. So make sure your topics get along with the ubiquitous Google.
It takes two to tango though, so you also have to know your listeners well.
So, where do people listen to podcasts?
4. In the US, 49% of listening happens at home and 22% while driving.
One of the great perks of podcasting is listening to someone inspiring while going through your daily chores. The number one reason people cite for liking podcasts is that they can do other things while listening.
5. 44% of listeners do so when working out, or cooking (50%), or simply relaxing before going to bed (51%).
While it’d be hard to read a blog or watch a video while jogging, podcast episodes are a perfect fit for a busy schedule.
If you’re still trying to come up with things to do while listening to podcasts, learn to craft something.
That way your spare time will pay you double.
Want to know what the updated podcast statistics for 20204 show?
6. Podcast popularity stats point to a boom for the medium in the last five years, having soared 122% since 2014.
Much of that growth comes from Americans under the age of 24, so clearly, the future belongs to podcasts.
Young listeners are 45% more likely to have a college degree.
You see why you need to go about airtime intelligently, right?
Need some more clues about successful podcast shows?
7. Over 20 categories represented the audio blogosphere at the first-ever Podcast Awards.
The winner, Leon Neyfakh’s Slow Burn, quickly shot to the top of Apple podcasts by the end of 2017, having premiered only a month earlier.
What better proof of podcast growth in 2019?
8. Nearly 4X more people listen to podcasts every week than those who watched the Game of Thrones final season premiere.
(Source: Convince and Convert)
Are you still wondering how to generate organic podcast growth?
Now you get the picture of the content podcast customers are looking for.
9. 55% of listeners reported “always” or “sometimes” pay attention to ads on podcasts.
(Source: Edison Research)
True fans listen carefully. They really do.
These podcast statistics beat attention paid to pitches made on traditional and online media. This is why podcast ad space has huge potential.
Especially if you want to improve click-through rate!
10. 78% don’t seem to mind listening to tuned advertising.
That’s an unbelievable number for a generation that has mastered ad blocking to perfection.
That special relationship with the host makes ads feel more like recommendations than the recyclable ramble that litters traditional media space.
You’ve heard that one before: ‘word of mouth is the best ad.’
You can clearly see that trend in the 2020 podcast stats as well.
You know that’s why FB rolled out the ‘recommendations’ feature.
11. Host-read ads increase listener interest by 44%, podcast stats show.
You do the math and figure out the monetization potential.
Stay tuned for more podcast advertising statistics.
12. The podcast market share of all audio adspend is on track to grow to 4.5% in 2022.
That’s almost 2% up from 2018 and will mean $1.6 billion of hard cash flowing into the industry within three years.
That effectively answers the whole “do podcasters make money” question.
But what does that mean for your budding podcast or novel product?
13. Podcast shows are looking to earn $659 million from ads in 2020.
Five years ago podcast ad revenue was under $100 million and in 2018 it topped $400 million to grow more than 20% again in 2019.
Make no mistake – this is a steady trend and the solid podcast growth statistics between 2018 and 2020 prove it.
Claim your share as content marketing, in general, is also gaining momentum!
14. 94% of podcast listeners are active on social media.
That’s almost 15% more compared to the general public. As you see, social media channels are powerful allies in spreading the news, be it a new topic or a new product.
Remember: word of quality gets around fast.
Again let’s spell that out with podcast statistics:
15. 78% of listeners report having recommended a podcast to a friend.
32% of listeners further share podcasts on social media.
That means one in three is going to share your content with likeminded people.
Who are naturally more likely to become your followers and get you closer to that coveted 50,000 download mark.
How does this compare with podcast statistics in the UK?
16. 21% of people aged 24-35 in the UK listen to podcasts weekly.
And 90% of the time they listen alone.
Being one on one with the consumer has huge engagement potential.
17. 36% of UK podcast listeners use the BBC website and app.
Follow YouTube (26%) and iTunes (25%), which outdo services such as Spotify, and newspapers’ websites or apps. Podcast stats show that in the UK, podcast listeners are more evenly distributed across podcast platforms.
The podcast medium is obviously gaining momentum. This year almost 200,000 subjects of the Crown voted at the inaugural British Podcast Awards.
To attract big advertisers you need real podcast download numbers, even if they are hard to get. What you can measure is the number of unique devices that your podcast has reached.
After all, downloading a podcast episode is one thing, actually listening to it is another.
Again, we’ve collected some podcast stats for you:
18. 77% of podcast consumers prefer to click on a podcast and listen to it right away.
There’s nothing like a good podcast episode to brighten the day. Whatever’s on your mind there’s likely to be a podcast that gives advice, offers a solution or just good cheer on the topic, any time, anywhere.
19. 47% of those who download a podcast listen to it within 24 hours
That number spells out one thing: people like to make time for podcasts. In spite of the daily rush!
20. If you manage to maintain over 3000 per month, you’ll be in the top 10%.
It’ll take patience, but it’s sure to pay off.
When you reach the magic number of 50,000 downloads, you’ll invite the big brands.
Joe Rogan himself recalls that persistence was key in the early days of his show.
Now as you see, average podcast downloads numbers also need fine-tuning.
21. 65% of US podcast listeners access podcast shows on their mobile devices.
(Source: Edison Research)
Like we said above: most listening happens while doing something else.
This is where smart speakers come in handy to account for another 10%.
Podcast listeners are much more likely to own a smart speaker.
22. 74% of early smart speaker owners used it to listen to a podcast.
The same crowd that goes for podcasts is the one to adopt smart speakers early on. No surprise there.
Moving onto the next question: where do people listen to podcasts most often?
23. 52% use Apple Podcasts, 19% Spotify, 4.6% Stitcher, and 21% use other platforms.
Apple is still in the lead: it has a huge search directory, while the built-in iOS Podcasts app makes it more intuitive to use. But iTunes podcast download statistics take into account only the Apple ecosystem.
And its competitors are mustering resources to make podcasts both easier to find and listen to.
Which will in turn allow them to inform you of products better suited to your tastes.
Podcasts on Spotify, with the second-biggest among podcast platforms now customizing advertising.
24. Nearly 50% of the current podcast ad revenue comes from dynamically inserted ads.
(Source: The Verge)
Like we said, tailored ads are much more likely to keep your interest. Plus you won’t have to play the same commercial within the same episode.
25. Spotify is spending $500 million in 2019 to boost its ad business.
With over 200 million users worldwide, the music giant has gauged that gradually over 20% of content played will go over to podcasts. Its newly acquired podcast creation app Anchor is already home to 15 billion hours of content.
I bet by now you’re curious to find out the top-earning podcasts. We’re getting there.
Let’s take a look at some Joe Rogan podcast statistics:
26. In January 2015, podcast stats showed that over 11 million people listened to the show. By October 2015, it had grown to generate 16 million downloads in a month.
(Source: Rolling Stone)
But you know he didn’t get there overnight.
Rogan recalls maintaining a consistent schedule early on was important in the podcast’s growth, and it soon grew to two episodes a week.
27. Podcast popularity stats in 2019 show that among 1,000 monthly podcast listeners aged 18 to 64, The Joe Rogan Experience ranked the highest in the unaided awareness category.
(Source: Coleman Insights)
The poll asked people to name all the podcasts they could think of, even if they don’t listen to them. JRE was at 14% followed by only 6% for Serial.
28. The most profitable guest has been Bill Burr with four appearances and 2,243,514 views or 560,878 average views per episode.
If you have an audience to serve, you have to go with what works, over and over. Bill Burr has been one of those things for JRE.
29. Neil deGrasse Tyson got 1,969,916 views and brought in the largest gain — $4195.92 for a single show.
And you know the numbers are climbing as we speak.
This is how the math works: 1000 views on YouTube put $2.13 in your pocket.
30. Joe Rogan’s podcast JRE Experience earns him around $30,000 per episode and as many as five episodes per week go on the air.
And just for good measure, a few more podcasting facts:
– Over 26% of the avid podcast listeners speed up so they can fit in more content in a day. That’s 7% more than in 2018.
– There’s an audience for almost every kind of topic.
– South Korea leads the world in the percentage of people who have listened to a podcast 58%.
The Bottom Line
Global podcast statistics clearly show the rising potential of this novel creative outlet. You’re probably thinking about starting your own tribe – or looking for the best advertising channel for your already original venture. See how that’s going to play out in numbers, plan it and get down to business.
And don’t forget to celebrate International Podcast Day on September 30 every year!
Let us know which is the best stat about podcasts.