75 Podcast Statistics & Facts 2021 (Charts, Trends, Infographic)

You are currently viewing 75 Podcast Statistics & Facts 2021 (Charts, Trends, Infographic)

This is the latest Podcasting statistics for this year.

We’re going to look into:

  • Global podcast stats
  • Listener/consumer stats
  • Podcast download statistics
  • Podcast consumption by countries
  • Podcast platform statistics
  • Podcast genre statistics

And many more…

You know, podcasting has grown over the past few years to become one of the most popular means of consuming content online.

Thanks in part to the stay-at-home orders implemented due to COVID in 2020.

More people have discovered new podcasts and have become more inclined to listen to them.

Today, millions of podcasts are available online, all covering a wide array of genres and topics.

With the podcasting industry set to grow even more over the next few years, it is worth getting some data into the prevalent trends and how it has performed thus far.

Below are some critical stats you should know about podcasting.

Both as a marketing medium, hobby, activity, and as a business model:

Complete Podcast Statistics to Know in 2021

We’ll be starting from:

General & Global Podcasting Industry Statistics 2021

So, we begin with a general overview of the podcasting industry.

  • There are over 2million podcasts worldwide

total number of podcast episodes worldwide

  • Out of the total number of podcasts worldwide, only about 37% of them have published a single episode in the last 90 days
  • Data from Podcast Industry Insights shows that Apple Podcasts currently has 2,028,054 podcast editions, with 47.93 million individual episodes.

It is worth noting that the number of active podcasts differs from this figure

In the podcasting industry, “active podcasts” denotes podcasts that java released one episode in 90 days.

A podcast is deemed inactive when its shows have ended, been retired, or put on hold.

Podcasts with non-frequent posting schedules are also seen as inactive.

As expected, dead and pod faded names belong in this category as well.

  • Going by this metric, the data shows that there are 297,000 active podcasts available on Apple Podcasts. So, as of March 2021, 14.6 percent of podcasts available are deemed active

Podcasting Consumption & Listener statistics

podcast consumption stats

Now that we have a sense of how many podcasts are available, it’s time to look into listeners’ facts.

This section breaks down podcast listeners across several top countries, providing more insights into how the industry is growing in these markets.

And the names that seem to be moving the most figures.

  • South Korea had the highest percentage of people who had listened to podcasts in 2019, with 58 percent of the population

While Spain, Sweden, Australia, and the United States followed, with 40%, 36%, 33%, and 33%, respectively.

  • In 2018, the number of podcast listeners in the United States reached 75 million, and it is predicted that the number of monthly listeners will hit 164 million in the year 2024, with the compound annual growth rate between 2019 and 2023 pegged at 17 percent
US podcast listeners in millions
Source: Statistia

Podcast Download Statistics & Numbers

When you launch your podcast, hardly will any statistics matter to you like download numbers.

You want to know how many people you’re reaching and how your audience is growing over time.

Since download numbers are always accessible, many podcast hosts have become borderline obsessed with their podcast growth and download numbers.

  • Buzzsprout’s Platform Stats page shows that there are 70.89 million episode downloads on the platform
  • The United States is Buzzsprout’s biggest market, with 49.4 percent of its downloads – more than the remaining countries that make up the top five combined
  • Buzzsprout’s data also shows that the top 1 percent of podcasts get 3,188 downloads in their first seven days of episode releases
  • The top 5% get 544 downloads in their first 7days, while the top ten percent get 244 downloads

While on the other hand, Podcast.co has it that the metric that matters most to podcast advertisers is the number of downloads new episodes get within the first 30 days.

Hence, below are the industry average download stats after 30days for a podcast episode:

  • If your podcast episodes get more than 124 downloads in 30 days, you’re in the top 50% of podcasts
  • If your episodes get more than 1,000 downloads in, you’re in the top 20%
  • If your episodes get more than 2,900 downloads, you’re in the top 10%
  • If your episodes get more than 6,700 downloads you’re in the top 3%

Podcasting Statistics by Country

Podcasting Statistics in the U.S.

  • According to Edison’s Infinite Dial data, 75 percent of Americans know about podcasts and podcasting
  • 55% of Americans has also listened to a podcast at some point
  • 104 million Americans consume podcast episodes regularly
  • Monthly podcast listening in the United States is now at 37 percent
  • 75 percent of Americans above the age of 12 are familiar with podcasts
  • 51% of the US population older than 12 have listened to a podcast at least once
  • Most Americans listen to podcasts between 7:13 and 8:15 in the morning, according to the Share of Ear Report
  • 19 percent of podcast listeners increase their speed to suspend less time on each episode
  • Averagely, people spend over 6 hours annually listening to podcasts

Podcasting Statistics in the U.K

The United Kingdom is another primary market for podcasts.

One of the top insight providers for the region is the MIDAS survey, which was provided by the Radio Joint Audience Research (RAJAR).

It examines how different forms of audio content are consumed across the region and the appropriate demographics.

  • As for podcasts, the MIDAS survey showed that 6.5 million adults – marking 12 percent of the population – listen to a podcast weekly in the UK
  • The majority of podcasts are males, with the gender covering 63 percent of all podcast listeners
  • Smartphones are the most preferred device for listening to podcasts in the United Kingdom. 67 percent of consumers use smartphones to stream their podcast episodes
  • 16% of listeners in the country use desktops and personal computers
  • 10 percent of listeners use digital music players in the UK
  • 6% use a tablet to listen to podcasts in the UK
  • 1% percent use speakers
  • 39% of U.K podcast listeners prefer to listen from home
  • 23% of listeners in the UK prefer to listen to podcasts while at work
  • 21% of listeners in the UK like to listen while in public transit
  • In the UK 13% of listeners prefer to listen in private vehicles
  • Podcast listenership in the United Kingdom (UK) has been increasing year-on-year, reaching an estimated 15.6 million listeners in 2020

Podcasting Statistics in Australia

  • Edison Research data noting that 87 percent of Aussie citizens are aware of podcasts
  • As of May 2020, only 30 percent of the Australian population had ever listened to a podcast
  • Also, only 25 percent of the Australian population identifies as regular listeners
  • 81% of listeners do so at home, while 45 percent of people listen in their vehicles as well
  • Podcast listeners in Australia listen to an average of six podcasts weekly
  • 85 percent of podcast listening in the country is done on mobile devices, while 11 percent is done on computers

Podcasting Statistics in India

  • This year, India is estimated to have 760.53 million smartphone users, up from 696.07 million in 2020
  • A report from Hubhopper confirmed that the country especially found its love for podcasting in 2019, with audio content becoming increasingly popular in the country at the time.
  • Monthly podcast listeners in India rose to 40 million in 2018 – up from 35.4 million in 2017
  • Podcast listeners in India are expected to increase at a 23 percent compound annual growth rate (CAGR) through 2023.

This means that by the end of 2023, podcast listeners in India should have risen to 172.8 million people.

  • 80% of podcast listeners in India use their mobile phones, with the remaining percentage listening via their computers and tablets

Podcasting Advertising Statistics

Thanks to the rise in their popularity, podcasts have become an effective tool for advertising.

Brands use several podcasts to raise awareness about their products and services, mainly focusing on podcasts that they know will engage their target audience.

This marketing strategy has proven to be relatively effective thus far.

Here are some statistics that you might find interesting:

  • Data from Statista shows that ad spending on podcasts should hit $354 million in 2021

podcast ad spend 2021

  • HubSpot reports that the average podcast ad slot costs between $10 and $50. Note that some podcasts with premium membership might charge even higher
  • The Interactive Advertising Bureau estimates that podcast revenues from ads should crack $1 billion this year
  • The Midroll Recall Survey shows that 80 percent of podcast listeners can recall the brands they interact with via podcast ads.

This is one of the facts that point to podcasting being an effective advertising medium.

  • Podcasts generate about 400 percent more brand recall than a pop-up, scroll, and status ads, per another Midroll report.

Podcast Popularity Statistics

Podcasts come in different shapes, names, and forms.

You get several options that can easily improve your listening experience and make the entire journey fun for you.

So, what are some of the top and most famous names available?

While it is challenging to find information, Edison Research provided a survey of about 10,000 active podcast listeners.

The survey looked to identify the 50 largest and most popular podcasts by audience size based on the Podcast Consumer Tracker.

This podcast measurement service tracks podcast networks’ comparable demographics and audience sizes.

According to Edison Research, the top 10 podcasts available right now are the following:

Podcast Name Host
The Joe Rogan Experience Joe Rogan
The Daily The New York Times
Crime Junkie Audiochuck
This American Life This American Life
My Favorite Murder Exactly Right
Stuff You Should Know HowStuffWorks
Office Ladies Earwolf
Pod Save America Crooked Media
Planet Money NPR
Wait Wait… Don’t Tell Me NPR

The Podcast Consumer Tracker Q1 – Q4 2020 itself is based on 8,042 weekly interviews of podcast listeners across the United States.

The interviews were conducted between January 6th, 2020, and December 12th, 2020.

Publishers continued updating the rankings over the period.

The #1 listened-to podcast worldwide – Joe Rogan Experience – has a total length of 4,608 hours (excluding sponsored ad reads).

With an average episode duration of 2hrs 32min 56.

Podcast Genres Statistics

Like every form of content, podcasts are divided into genres based on their topics.

While some podcast genres are broader, others have a narrower focus.

  • Recent research from Nielsen, Music is the most popular podcast genre for light listeners (those who don’t listen daily)

podcast genre stats

Considering that light listeners make up to 53 percent of Music podcast listeners, this market can’t be ignored

  • The other top genres for light listeners include Arts (52percent), Health and Fitness, and Education (51 percent each)
  • On the flip side, heavy podcast listeners are more interested in History (37 percent), Current Affairs and News (36 percent), and True Crime (36 percent)

Genres By Age

  • Nielsen reported that the median age for podcast listeners is 38
  • The company added that the median age for News and Comedy podcasts are 40 and 35, respectively

However, they are thought to be the most popular podcast genres for adults in general.

In fact, News and Music podcasts account for about 8 percent of all podcast viewers by age

  • Going even further, Nielsen reported that Comedy is the most popular podcast genre for adults between 18 and 34
  • The other genres in the top 4 are News, Society & Culture, and True Crime, respectively
  • For older listeners (those above 55), News is the most popular. It is followed by Comedy, Arts, Education, and Society & Culture

Genres By Gender

  • As for gender, Nielsen reports that men hold more of the podcast market share, accounting for 55 percent of all listeners
  • The report adds that several genres have considerable levels of equality when it comes to listeners.

These include Fiction (perfectly split, 50-50) and TGV & Film (52 percent men, 48 percent women).

  • Men unsurprisingly account for a staggering 81 percent of all Sports podcast listeners
  • Women account for 77 percent of Kids & Family podcasts. Health & Fitness also has 63 percent of all listeners being women

Genres By Time and Location

  • In 2019, a research report from Nielsen confirmed that heavy podcast listeners had a higher likelihood of listening to podcasts at work than the light ones.

They were also found to be less likely to listen to their favorite podcasts at home.

  • The 2020 study found that among podcast listeners who do most of their listening at home, 47 percent are more likely to listen to Comedy podcasts.

This data correlates with the fact that Comedy is the most popular genre for day listeners.

It is also the top genre for listeners engaged between 10 AM and 12 PM on weekdays, with 44% of day listeners reporting that their top genre is Comedy.

  • 46% of listeners between 12 PM and 3 PM also said that they listen to Comedy podcasts.
  • Unsurprisingly, News podcasts are the top option for listeners between 6 AM and 10 AM on weekdays

Podcast App & Listening Platforms Statistics

Podcast platform stats

The podcast market has become increasingly decentralized…

With different platforms providing an opportunity for you to open your podcast after following a few steps.

Let’s take a look at some of these platforms to see how they’re performing:

Spotify Stats

  • Spotify has become one of the most popular landing spots for podcast hosts, especially this year. A report from eMarketer shows that the service is expected to hit 28.2 million monthly listeners and become the most popular platform for podcasts in the United States
  • Spotify’s podcast division is also expected to grow by 43.1 percent in 2021
  • In 2020, the most commonly used app for listening to podcasts in the United States was Spotify, with 25% of podcast listeners aged 18 or above saying that they used Spotify to listen to podcasts.

Meanwhile, Apple Podcasts was used by 20 percent of adults, down from 21 percent in the previous year

Spotify has so far enjoyed a significant flurry of listeners after it signed an exclusive deal with Joe Rogan to host the latter’s popular podcast.

“The Joe Rogan Experience.” – With Rogan’s podcast being the most popular podcast worldwide and raking in millions of listeners, it was a perfect match.

iTunes & Apple Podcast Stats

  • The same eMarketer research estimates that Apple Podcasts will see 28 million monthly podcast listeners in 2021

As the research company explains, Apple Podcasts has seen a declining market share primarily.

Because the service has failed to keep up with Spotify’s innovation and investment in its podcast offerings.

Google Podcast Statistics

Google Podcasts is essentially the third option for anyone looking to break Apple Podcasts and Spotify’s duopoly.

  • There isn’t much data on the platform, although Statista reported that it controlled 16% of the podcast market as of 2020.

Stitcher Podcast Stats

  • The Statista report also showed that Stitcher holds 6% of the podcast market

Stitcher isn’t overly popular, with the service struggling in a market dominated by big names like Apple and Spotify.

However, it remains a top choice for many podcast hosts and does its best to keep up with the industry giants.

FAQs on Global Podcast statistics

What is the most popular podcast listening platform?

While Spotify holds the United States market, Apple Podcasts is the most popular podcast listening platform worldwide.

apple podcast stats

The latter leverages Apple’s near-global presence, and it is usually the top choice for podcast hosts looking to get their content to audiences outside of the United States.

What are the most popular podcast categories?

According to data from Statista, the most popular podcast genres in the United States are Comedy, News, and True Crime.

The three hold 22%, 21%, and 18% of the country’s podcast market, respectively. Sports and Health & Fitness round out the top 5 with 17% apiece.

Why do people listen to podcasts?

From a consumer’s perspective, podcasts offer quite a lot of value and benefits.

From getting new knowledge to feeling better about themselves, podcast listeners tune in for many reasons.

Currently, education is the most popular reason for tuning to podcasts.

According to data from Statista, about 75 percent of all podcast listeners in the United States reported in 2019 that they loved tuning to podcasts to learn new things.

Beyond the educational factor, podcasts are also a source of entertainment and inspiration.

What are the 5 top business podcasts?

You can find literally hundreds of business podcasts available on the internet today.

However, some have managed to set themselves apart from the pack.

The top 5 business podcasts are:

Podcast Host
HBR IdeaCast The Harvard Business Review
Mixergy Andrew Warner
Entrepreneurs on Fire John Lee Dumas
Outside In Charles Trevail
The Tim Ferriss Show Tim Ferriss

What are the top 5 marketing podcasts?

Some of the best marketing podcasts available include:

Podcast Host
HBR IdeaCast The Harvard Business Review
The Smart Passive Income Podcast Pat Flynn
Marketing Over Coffee Christopher Penn & John J. Wall
The Marketing Scoop Podcast SEMRush
Akimbo Seth Godin

How many listeners does a podcast have?

It is almost impossible to get this metric. Most podcast hosts will be able to check their listeners on their dashboard to measure their engagement levels.

What is the average podcast download?

It is difficult to give a specific number concerning the average podcast download metrics.

Income School reports that a podcast episode that’s been live for 30 days should get an average of 141 downloads.

However, a lot of factors can affect your download numbers.

For one, you should consider your audience and whether there are enough people who make up a mainstream number.

You should also consider the factors surrounding your download – the platform, your demographics, and much more.

However, if you’re looking for a regular breakdown, here is one for you.

In the first week (7 days) of an episode’s release, you will need the following numbers:

  • Over 26 downloads to be in the top 50% of podcasts
  • Over 72 downloads to be in the top 25 percent
  • Over 231 downloads to be in the top 10 percent
  • Over 539 downloads to be in the top 5 percent
  • Over 3062 downloads to be in the top 1 percent.

Where do people listen to podcasts?

Data from Edison Research confirmed that in 2019, 9 out of 10 podcast listeners in the U.S. listened to podcasts at home.

Podcasts are also consumed en masse at home.

64%, 49%, and 37% of podcast listeners claimed that they listened to podcasts while in a vehicle, walking around, or on their daily commute, respectively.

What are the average podcast listening demographics worldwide?

  • Data from Statista showed that most podcast listeners are in the 12-34 age group. They make up 49 percent of podcast listeners, while the 35-54 age group makes up 40 percent. 22 percent of listeners are over the age of 55
  • Edison Research data shows that 39 percent of podcast listeners are men, while 36 percent are women

When do people listen to podcasts?

Since most podcast listeners enjoy their episodes, it isn’t easy to know whether the day or night is ideal for listening.

However, Nielsen’s research confirmed that most daily podcast listeners turn into Comedy podcasts.

What is the fastest-growing podcast for 2021?

It is almost impossible to know the fastest-growing podcast of the year, especially since metrics are hard to come by.

However, data from Podtrac provides a ranking of the top podcast publishers.

As the data shows, iHeartRadio is the fastest-growing publisher, with 30.2 million unique monthly visitors and 257.3 million global downloads and streams across 560 active shows.

What was the most downloaded podcast in 2020?

Data from Edison Research shows that The Joe Rogan Experience was the most listened-to podcast in 2020.

However, rankings from Podtrac show that The New York Times’ The Daily podcast is the top podcast in the United States as of March 2021.

Who is the richest podcaster?

According to Forbes rankings, Joe Rogan is the highest-earning podcaster in the world. Rogan earned a staggering $30 million in 2020.

The comedian and UFC commentator also signed a multi-year licensing deal with Spotify last year – a deal which The Wall Street Journal reported was worth over $100 million.

How do podcasters make money?

Most podcasters make money through sponsorships and ads. Details on sponsorships aren’t overly transparent, but ad revenues on podcasts have been growing over the years.

eMarketer reported in 2019 that marketers spent $479 million on podcast ads.

The majority of these revenues went to podcasts in the News, Comedy, Business, Education, and Entertainment categories.

However, the figures are expected to cross $1 billion annually from 2021.

Conclusion

Podcasting’s growth over the past few years has been phenomenal!

The industry might have gotten a boost from the lockdowns, but it is here to stay.

With more companies spending on podcast ads, there is a sense and knowledge that this is where the consumers want to be.

A lot of work goes into podcasting, but it can definitely be rewarding to begin one. Just build a community and commit to growing your audience, and you’re pretty much ready to go.

Quickly, Podcasting stats summary

  • Currently, there are over 2,000,000 podcasts worldwide with over 48 million episodes as of April 2021
  • The number of monthly podcast listeners in the US will hit 164 million in the year 2024
  • 75% of Americans know about podcasting
  • 9 out of 10 podcast listeners in the U.S. listened to podcasts at home
  • 55% of the American population have listened to a podcast at some point
  • Most Americans listen to podcasts between 7:13 and 8:15 in the morning
  • Ad spending on podcasts should hit $354 million in 2021
  • The #1 listened-to podcast worldwide is the Joe Rogan Experience
  • Music is the most popular podcast genre for light listeners
  • In 2020, the most commonly used app for listening to podcasts in the United States was Spotify
  • A typical podcast listener subscribes to an average of 7 different shows
  • Apple Podcasts is the most popular podcast listening platform worldwide
  • Joe Rogan is the highest-earning podcaster in the world. With 30million earned in 2020

Here’s a podcasting infographic that summarizes it all:

Sources:

Podcast content is growing audience engagement [Nielson]

Podcast listening apps in the US [Statistia]

Forbes highest earning podcasters

Podcast listeners in the US [Statistia]

Joe Rogan partnership with Spotify [Spotify Newroom]

Podcasts in the UK [Statistia]

Podcast Consumption and Listening in the UK [Backtracks]

Podcast Listening apps [Statistia]

Midroll Recall Survey Report (pdf)

Midroll Recall Report on ad effectiveness (pdf)

Interactive Advertising Bureau – podcast ad revenue study (pdf)

Khris Steven

My mission is to equip and arm you with the precise marketing tools, resources, strategies, and tactics to help you make IMPACT, SERVE more and (of course) EXPLODE your income so you can live life on your own terms.

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