While consumers are wired to respond to visuals, the podcast industry has grown significantly over the years. One reason for its success is the convenience that it offers. Considering that multitasking has become second nature to us, this medium allows us to get information while we continue with our daily lives, whether that’s commuting to work, cooking, or exercising.
Though, it’s not always used purely as a source of information. Some listeners have found a like-minded community via podcasts. As podcast hosts often interact with their subscribers on social media platforms, it’s actually more engaging than it sounds.
From a creator’s point of view, podcasting also presents another opportunity for making money online from the comfort of your own home. Overall, it’s pretty easy to start a podcast and there are free platforms that can help you to monetize your content. Plus, as you don’t have to release a new episode every single day, it can be a manageable side hustle.
If you’re still not convinced that podcasting’s success isn’t going to be brief, take a look at the following statistics. As you’ll see, for the past decade, it has only grown.
23 Podcast Statistics You Should Know:
- 1. There Are Over 2 Million Podcasts
- 2. There Are More Than 420 Million Podcast Listeners
- 3. 79% of Americans Are Aware of Podcasting
- 4. 90% of Australians Are Aware of Podcasting
- 5. 62% of US Consumers Listen to Podcasts
- 6. Nearly 180 Million Americans Have Listened to a Podcast
- 7. 34% Listened to a Podcast in the Last Month
- 8. Podcast Usage Is the Highest In Ireland
- 9. 68% Listen to the Whole Episode
- 10. 38% of the US Population Listen to Podcasts on a Monthly Basis
- 11. 26% of the US Population Listen to Podcasts on a Weekly Basis
- 12. Eight Podcasts Are Listened to Per Week On Average
- 13. Mobile Phones Are the Preferred Device
- 14. More Men Listen to Podcasts
- 15. Podcasting Is More Popular Among Older Listeners
- 16. Spotify Boasts the Best Brand Awareness
- 17. In Spain, YouTube Is the Most Popular Platform for Podcasts
- 18. Live Radio Is Still Much More Popular
- 19. Podcast Ad Revenues Expected to Exceed $2 Billion in 2023
- 20. By 2024, the Industry Will Be Worth $4 Billion
- 21. The Top Patreon Creator is the True Crime Obsessed Podcast
- 22. The Demographics of Podcast Listeners Are Diversifying
- 23. It’s an Activity That’s Mostly Done Alone While Working
1. There Are Over 2 Million Podcasts
Currently, there are 2.4 million podcasts globally, according to Demand Sage. To put that number into better perspective, three years ago, there were only about a quarter of that, according to data shared by Podcast Insights. With regards to the number of podcast episodes specifically, Demand Sage estimates it at 66 million podcast episodes.
2. There Are More Than 420 Million Podcast Listeners
As you would expect, there are also millions of podcast listeners. According to Demand Sage, it’s estimated that at the end of 2022 there would be 424 million podcast listeners across the world.
3. 79% of Americans Are Aware of Podcasting
This might sound like a trivial statistic to mention, but considering that in 2006 just over 20% of the adult population in the US knew about podcasting, it’s kind of a big thing. Fast-forward 16 years and the vast majority (79%) of the population have caught on. This works out to an estimated 226 million Americans who are familiar with podcasting.
4. 90% of Australians Are Aware of Podcasting
If you thought that podcasting was huge in the United States, it doesn’t compare to podcasting awareness in Australia. In 2022, 90% of the Australian population older than 12 were aware of podcasting! In fact, since 2019, the podcast awareness level among Australians has been higher than what it’s currently at among the US population. That said, it is slightly down from 2021 when it was estimated at 91%, making 2022 the first time since 2017 that podcast awareness didn’t increase.
5. 62% of US Consumers Listen to Podcasts
According to data shared by Statista, 62% of all US consumers listen to podcasts. What’s more, the number of podcast listeners have steadily increased during the past eight years. While it only increased from 57% to 62% in the past year, it has doubled over the last 10 years.
6. Nearly 180 Million Americans Have Listened to a Podcast
According to The Infinite Dial 2022 from Edison Research and Triton Digital, the longest-running survey of digital media consumer behavior in America, it’s estimated that 177 million US citizens older than 12 have listened to a podcast. This equates to 62% of the US population. It basically doubled in the past eight years.
7. 34% Listened to a Podcast in the Last Month
When looking at global podcast listening habits, the Digital News Report 2022 released by the Reuters Institute found that 34% listened to at least one podcast in the last month. This percentage was calculated by looking at the average consumption rate of 20 countries where users were very familiar with the medium. It was up by 3 percentage points compared to 2021.
8. Podcast Usage Is the Highest In Ireland
Perhaps somewhat surprisingly is that podcast usage was the highest in Ireland. Reuters Institute’s Digital News Report 2022 found that 46% of the population in Ireland used a podcast in the last month. Sweden was in second place (44%) with Norway not far behind in third spot (42%).
9. 68% Listen to the Whole Episode
According to The MIDAS Survey of Summer 2022, the majority of podcast listeners (68%) listen to the whole episode. What’s equally impressive is that 70% listen to almost all of the episodes that they’ve downloaded.
10. 38% of the US Population Listen to Podcasts on a Monthly Basis
It was estimated that in 2022, 38% of the US population older than 12 listened to a podcast on a monthly basis. It was a drop of 3% from the previous year. It’s only the second time since 2013 that the percentage that listened to a podcast in the last month didn’t increase.
According to Reuters Institute’s data, this figure for 2022 was slightly lower at 37%.
11. 26% of the US Population Listen to Podcasts on a Weekly Basis
The weekly habits look a bit differently. It’s estimated that in 2022, only 26% of the total US population older than 12 listened to a podcast on a weekly basis. Though, unlike monthly listeners, it was the first time since 2013 that the number of weekly listeners have decreased. In 2021, it was 2% higher at 28%.
12. Eight Podcasts Are Listened to Per Week On Average
According to The Infinite Dial 2022, US weekly podcast listeners averaged eight podcasts in the last week. Only 14% of US podcast listeners older than 12 listened to only one podcast in the last week. Most (21%) listened to four or five, while 16% listened to anything from six to 10 podcasts per week.
In Australia, the weekly podcast listeners averaged seven episodes per week. Though, 15% indicated that they listened to 11 or more podcasts in the last week.
13. Mobile Phones Are the Preferred Device
Mobile phones account for 73% of the podcast listening hours! The second most-used device is laptops (11%) with tablets (7%) in third spot.
While voice activated speakers are used for 2% of podcast listening, the increase in smart speakers is noteworthy and might change future listener behavior. In the span of four years, smart speaker ownership nearly doubled and in 2022 35% of the US population older than 12 owned a smart speaker. This gives listeners more chances to discover new podcasts from the comfort of their own home.
14. More Men Listen to Podcasts
In the UK, podcasting is more popular among men. The MIDAS Survey Summer 2022 found that in 2022 58% of men compared to 42% of women listen to podcasts.
In the US, the picture is the same, though the gap is smaller. According to data shared by The Infinite Dial 2022, in 2022, 53% of men listened to a podcast in the last month, compared to 46% of women.
15. Podcasting Is More Popular Among Older Listeners
According to the MIDAS Survey Summer 2022, 60% of the podcast audience is 35 and older. The biggest share (38%) is aged 35 to 54, while 22% is 55 and older.
16. Spotify Boasts the Best Brand Awareness
According to The Infinite Dial’s data, when it comes to online audio brand awareness, Spotify, an audio streaming and media services provider, is in first place. More than 80% of respondents were aware of the brand.
Pandora, which was the online audio brand that boasted the best brand awareness last year, dropped to second spot. Apple Music was in third spot with 72% of the US population older than 12 being aware of its brand.
Part of Spotify’s increase in brand awareness can be attributed to the fact that Spotify was willing to pay about $200 million for exclusive rights to The Joe Rogan Experience podcast, as reported by Reuters Institute.
The platform has become increasingly popular among younger listeners. A study completely among Spotify users in 2022 found that participants aged 13 to 17 were the fastest growing podcast audience. Compared to 2021, this age group discovered 11% more podcasts.
To put this into perspective, those in their late 20s and early 30s discovered only 2% more shows. We guess the older you get the more set you get in your programming?
17. In Spain, YouTube Is the Most Popular Platform for Podcasts
While Spotify leads the way in terms of popularity in the United Kingdom and Germany, in Spain it’s a different picture. Here, 30% of the listeners mainly use YouTube for podcasts. Spotify was in second spot (26%) and iVoox in third (19%).
18. Live Radio Is Still Much More Popular
When analyzing the weekly reach of the different types of audio, live radio is still the clear favorite. The MIDAS Survey Summer 2022 found that across all age groups, live radio reached more listeners each week than podcasts. In some cases, it was as much as eight times more popular. That said, podcasts proved to reach more people each week than digital tracks, vinyl records, and audiobooks.
19. Podcast Ad Revenues Expected to Exceed $2 Billion in 2023
Not only are the number of podcasts and listeners increasing, but also the ad revenues. According to eMarketer, it’s anticipated that US marketers will spend nearly $2.2 billion on podcast ads in 2023. What’s more, it’s expected that it will exceed $2.5 billion in 2024.
20. By 2024, the Industry Will Be Worth $4 Billion
The annual joint report released by the Interactive Advertising Bureau and PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) about the podcasting business estimates that in 2022, the industry will generate $2 billion in revenue. What’s even more impressive is that according to their projections, it will double in just two years to total $4 billion by 2024.
Execs at the Interactive Advertising Bureau attribute a lot of this success and growth to the advances in ad tech. Thanks to these improvements, advertisers will be able to target their audiences better.
21. The Top Patreon Creator is the True Crime Obsessed Podcast
With over 47,000 patrons, True Crime Obsessed is the top Patreon creator at the time of writing this article according to Patreon statistics about revenue and users. It was first launched in January 2018 and offers four subscription tiers, with the lowest plan starting at $5 per month. While $5 per month doesn’t sound like much, it adds up. According to Graphtreon, the estimated earnings per month is over $133,000 (but it could even be as high as $338,000).
Other popular podcasts on Patreon are Matt and Shane’s Secret Podcast, Maintenance Phase, and The Tim Dillon Show. All these podcasts have over 40,000 patrons.
22. The Demographics of Podcast Listeners Are Diversifying
When looking at race and gender specifically, data gathered indicates that the demographics of podcast listeners are becoming more diverse and varied. In 2022, podcast listeners were still mostly white men, but it has become more popular among female listeners as well as Hispanic and African-American listeners during recent years.
23. It’s an Activity That’s Mostly Done Alone While Working
Nearly all (93%) listeners enjoy their podcasts when they’re alone. This is mostly done while they’re working or studying (33%), while 22% catch up on their podcasts when they’re driving or traveling.
Multitasking seems to be the order of the day. Only 15% listen to podcasts when they’re relaxing or doing nothing in particular.
That said, they don't necessarily have to be at home. Less than half (48%) listen to it when they’re at home. Instead, they can be in the car (14%), at work (16%), or using public transportation or walking (19%). Considering that mobile devices are the preferred way to listen to podcasts, this comes as no surprise that most are on the move when they make time for their podcasts.
Podcasts aren’t new. However, unlike TikTok, the industry’s growth was much more gradual.
While most are familiar with the format, only about a third listen to it on a monthly basis. Quickly compare that to how many times you browse your social media accounts per day or binge-watch a show on Netflix and you come to realize that it still has a long way to go.
That being said, it’s proving to be a lucrative market for content creators. On Patreon, the top creator is a podcast host.
What’s more, if PwC’s predictions are anything to go by, the next two years will be massive for the podcast industry. And, considering that the audience is diversifying and more young people are discovering new podcasts on Spotify, it would be interesting to see how the next few years unfold.