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Podcast Statistics and Trends (& Why They Matter)

Are you a podcast producer or creator? In this article, learn tactical insights on how listeners consume podcast shows through research-backed statistics.
Kendall Breitman
Social Media & Community Expert
Last Updated:
April 1, 2024
Reviewed by
Ortal Hadad

Understanding podcast statistics is beneficial to producing an engaging, popular show. 

Leveraging stats will allow you to strategize for success and even earn revenue from your podcast. For example, knowing that 70% of podcast fans listen while doing housework gives you great insight into the products you could advertise to monetize your podcast.

In this article, we’ll take a look at key podcast statistics and what they mean for you as a podcast producer, giving actionable tips for you to optimize your show.

Podcast Listener Demographics

Podcast listening statistics 2022
(Image source: Edison)

Podcast Listener Numbers: How Many People Listen to Podcasts?

  • In 2023 there were over 450 million podcasts, and it seems like this number is only growing
  • As of 2023, according to the Infinite Dial, 64% of Americans will have listened to a podcast ever in their lives. This is an estimated 183 million Americans and an increase from 57%, the percentage of the same statistic in 2021.  
  • From this figure, 38% of Americans listened to a podcast in the last month and 26% in the last week.
  • These are large numbers considering Insider Intelligence estimates that going into 2024 there are around 464 million podcast listeners worldwide.
Edison podcast statistics on Monthly podcast listening
(Image source: Edison)

Who Listens To Podcasts?

  • 50% of monthly U.S. podcast listeners are aged between 12-34, 43% between 35 and 54 years old, and 22% are aged over 55.
  • In 2019, around half of monthly podcast listeners had a full-time job(51%), 17% of whom hadve a household income between $100K-$150K. 28% have a university degree.

So what? Based on their education and employment statistics, regular podcast listeners have the power to make purchasing decisions and interest in products that will make their daily lives easier. Using these stats, you can strategize how to monetize your podcast.

How Often Do People Listen to Podcasts?

  • The 26% of Americans who listened to podcasts in the last week listened to an average of 8 podcasts throughout the week.
  • In 2019, a report revealed that 22% percent of podcast fans listen to over 22 hours of podcasts a week!  
  • The same report revealed that 35% listen to more than 10 different shows per month.

So what? Aim to reach those “super listeners” who listen to 20+ hours of podcasts a week and you’ll create a loyal fan base. Cross-promote your show on podcasts similar to yours and access new listeners who share your interests.

Where Do Most People Listen to Podcasts?

  • Looking back at 2021, podcasts were most often listened to at home with only 20% of listeners reporting that they listen in the car while commuting and 59% preferring to listen at home.

So what? Use these statistics to define the length of your podcast: the average podcast length - 25 and 30 minutes - reflects the length of the average commute in the U.S. These numbers can also help you to target your podcast ads to what your audience is doing when listening.

Podcast statistics on listening location
(Image source: Edison)

How Do People Listen To Podcasts?

  • According to Statista’s 2020 study, the top platforms and apps for listening to podcasts are Spotify (25% of listeners) and Apple Podcasts (20%).
  • In 2019, 65% of people prefer listening to podcasts on their smartphone or tablet and 25% use a desktop computer. 10% listen on smart speakers like Google Nest and Amazon Echo. This trend has stayed similar with 73% of listeners using their cell phones over computers for podcast listening.

So what? Your show needs to be findable on the top podcast directories i.e. Spotify and Apple Podcasts. It’s also essential to optimize your content - the name of your podcast and its episode titles - for voice-activated smart speakers.

Where Do People Find Podcasts?

  • The main ways that people discover new podcasts to listen to are via charts and recommendations on their podcast listening app; through word of mouth from friends; promotions on other podcasts and on social media platforms or websites.

So what? Almost 60% of podcasters report building an audience as a top challenge, so use these statistics to reach new listeners:

  • Push your show up the in-app charts by encouraging your listeners to subscribe to your podcast in your podcast intro and recommend it to friends
  • Share your podcast across your social media accounts; work with relevant influencers to promote your show to their audiences
  • Work with other podcasters to promote each others’ shows

Why Do People Listen To Podcasts?

  • 74% of podcast listeners tune in to learn new things, while others listen regularly for entertainment, to keep up to date, to relax, and for inspiration.
  • Equally important is why *don’t* people listen to podcasts. Almost 50% of non-listeners say they don’t know where to find podcasts, while others report being overwhelmed by the number and choice of shows out there. 

So what? Ensuring your show is engaging and offers value to your listeners is essential. It also needs to be findable on the main podcast directories. This may sound like a no-brainer, but producing studio-quality podcasts is also key, as a third of people claim low podcast quality is the reason they don’t listen.

Record on Riverside for professional-quality podcasts, no matter your skill level. Click here for more information, or sign up for free to see how easy it is!

Podcast Statistics: What Should You Aim For?

How Many Podcasts Are There?

  • As of March 2021, Apple Podcasts hosts 47 million episodes on their platform from a total of 1.96 million podcasts, up from 550,000 podcasts just three years ago. 
  • In terms of 2022, podcast search engine Listen Notes has over a whopping 2.8 million podcasts and 132 million episodes which shows how the number of podcasts is just growing.

Future of podcasting: Is the Podcast Industry growing? 

The stats above already prove that the podcast industry's growth is only on its way upward. What’s more shocking though is that it’s estimated that the podcast market will grow to $4 billion by the year 2024. This clearly shows how big the podcast market is and how much the podcast industry is worth. 

If there’s a time to get involved in the podcast industry, it’s now. Big content creation platforms like Spotify and YouTube already catering and pushing for this, so it’s best to hop onto this podcast growth before it’s too late.

So what? There’s a lot of competition! Make your podcast stand out by defining your unique selling point (USP) and target listener persona, and implementing clever marketing based on the statistics in this article.

How Many Listeners Does The Average Podcast Get?

  • Looking at Buzzsprout’s monthly podcast download numbers, if you get around 25-30 downloads a month, you’re already in the top 50% of podcasters.

So what? Make it clear how listeners can subscribe to your show by including a CTA in your podcast intro. Ramp up your marketing campaign on social media, websites, and via other relevant podcasts to access a wider audience.

What Are The Most Popular Type of Podcast Genres?

  • According to a Nielsen report, the most popular podcast genres for listeners over 18 is comedy (43%), news (38%), and society and culture (31%).

So what? Listen to some of the most popular podcasts in your genre, check out these podcast in your genre's statistics, benchmark their format, length, and content, and take tips from the top podcasts in the world:

  • Comedy: Armchair Expert with Dax Shephard, Conan O’Brien Needs A Friend, How Did This Get Made?
  • News: The Daily and Ted Talks Daily
  • True crime: Serial, My Favorite Murder, In The Dark
  • Sports: Pardon My Take and The Bill Simmons Show

How Many Podcasts Use Video?

So what? Video podcasting is not yet the norm, which means it’s a great way for your show to stand out from the competition! Plus, using software like Riverside makes it really simple to record studio-quality video podcasts remotely, like the example below:

Start recording your own video podcasts. Sign up on Riverside for free!

Producing A Podcast: Statistics

What Equipment Do Podcasters Use?

  • The top brands for podcasting microphones for 2020 were Rode, Blue, and Shure. The Blue Yeti was number 1 overall, with 17% of podcasters reporting using the microphone.
  • 74% of podcasters use headphones when recording and in post-production. That means 26% of people are risking not knowing if there are audio problems while they record!

So what? There’s so much different equipment out there and their popularity changes year on year. Check out our podcast starter kit guide to find the right kit for you and your budget.

What Software Do Podcasters Use?

So what? Platforms like Riverside allow you to record high-quality audio (and video!) wherever you are, facilitating remote podcast recording without sacrificing sound or visual quality.

Riverside podcast recording software
Start recording with Riverside
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Average Podcast Length

  • We mentioned the average length of a podcast episode is 25 to 30 minutes, but length varies greatly across genres.

So what? For podcasts starting out, it’s best to keep your show short and concise. Once you’ve got a loyal listener base, your episodes can go much longer and your fans will listen no matter what. The key is making sure to hook your listeners right at the start of your episode because podcasts lose between 20 to 35 percent of listeners in the first five minutes. 

Average Podcast Frequency & Schedule

  • According to Buzzsprout’s global statistics, around 35% of podcasts publish an episode on their hosting platform every 3 to 7 days, and 40% every 8 to 14 days.

So what? Learning how to schedule your podcast will help you to produce regular, engaging content to keep your listeners interested.

Most popular posting times

According to Podbean the most popular days and times to publish podcasts are:

  • Wed 7 pm EST
  • Mon 8 am EST
  • Mon 9 am EST
  • Tue 9 am EST
  • Mon 10 am EST

So what? You want to put your content out when your audience is active. Looking at popular publishing times can help, but we actually suggest analyzing your audience or target audience more closely. When are they most active online? It won't help to publish a podcast in an ideal EST time, when you may be in another timezone.

Podcasts Making Money: Statistics

Podcast Revenue

  • Almost 90% of podcast listeners surveyed by Discover Pods think podcast ads are effective, and over 55% have made a purchase based on a podcast ad. However, another study reported that 58% would skip a podcast ad.

So what? Use the podcast statistics above and our guide to monetizing your podcast to target your ads and sponsorships to your listener profile.

FAQs on Podcast Statistics

How do I find podcast stats?

You can easily find out podcast stats by looking at metrics online. A lot of directories and podcast hosts upload regular reports on podcast listener stats, downloads, demographics, and more. For example, Buzzsprout has monthly stats for you to see podcast download statistics as well as which podcast directories most listeners are using. If you’re looking for your own podcast’s analytics, this you can generally find with your podcast host. 

For charts, you can easily check out Apple’s or Spotify lists.

Why do people make podcasts?

Let's begin with the fact that podcasting is a growing industry. It’s popular and trendy right now, making it the right time to start making your own podcast. If you need reasons why, here are a few: 

  • Podcasting is great for marketing your brand.
  • You can build a community with your listeners.
  • With millions of podcast listeners, you can grow your audience reach.
  • You can earn income from podcasts.
  • It’s fun to create a podcast and interview interesting people.

There are lots more reasons why you should start a podcast, our biggest advice is to find a reason that motivates you personally first.

How can I see how many listeners a podcast has?

If you’re looking for how many listeners your own podcast has, then chances are you’ll be able to find this in your hosting platform's podcast analytics. Although, if you’re interested in finding out how many listeners another podcast has, this might be a little trickier. 

It’s hard to get an exact figure of listeners unless you have direct access to their numbers. It also depends on what you classify as a listener. Is this someone who’s subscribed, or someone who’s just listened to only one episode?

You can look at things like social media followings, site traffic, ratings, and reviews to get some sort of an idea of how popular a podcast is.

Put The Theory Into Practice: Get Recording Your Podcast With Riverside

The main takeaway of these podcast statistics is that podcasting is a huge and growing platform with a massive audience to tap into. Knowing the demographics of podcast listeners and comparing your podcast against a benchmark will help you define success for you. 

Leveraging these key stats and our actionable tips will help your podcast capture and maintain a loyal listener base. So, what are you waiting for? Find more guides for producing your podcast and get recording on Riverside!

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