Curious about the current state of podcasting?
In this post, we’ll be sharing dozens of interesting podcasting statistics with data pulled from the latest studies.
These stats highlight the size and growth of the podcast industry and reveal useful insights about podcast creators, their listeners, and the platforms/apps they use.
Ready? Let’s get started.
Editor’s top picks – podcasting statistics
- There are over 5 million podcasts and 70 million podcast episodes (Forbes)
- Over 464 million people listen to podcasts monthly (Statista1)
- 94% of podcast listeners do so via mobile devices (Triton Rankers)
- The average listener downloads 3.8 hours of content and 5.6 episodes weekly (Triton Rankers)
- Spotify and Apple Podcasts are the leading podcast players by market share (Buzzsprout, Triton rankers)
- News podcasts account for 23% of downloads and Comedy podcasts account for 17% of downloads (Triton Rankers)
- 70% of professional podcasts use social media to promote their content (Muckrack)
- 57% of Americans have listened to a podcast, and 78% know what podcasting is (Blogging Wizard)
- The podcasting market was predicted to reach $20b last year (Global News Wire)
General podcast statistics
To kick things off, let’s start by looking at some general podcast statistics that show how popular podcasts are and reveal the current size of the market.
- 78% of the US population is aware of podcasting
- 57% of the US population has listened to a podcast at some point
- US Podcast listening increased 20% year-over-year in 2022
- The global podcasting market was expected to reach over $20 billion last year…
- …and it’s set to continue to climb to over $58 billion by 2026 at a CAGR of 30.15%
(Global News Wire)
- US podcast ad dollars are projected to reach 4 billion by 2024.
How many podcasts are there?
According to the latest estimations:
- There are over 5 million podcasts as of 2023
- There are over 70 million podcast episodes as of 2023
This makes podcasting a competitive market. There are a lot of podcasts out there from listeners to choose from, so it’s getting harder for new podcasters to cut through the noise and earn listeners.
How many people listen to podcasts?
According to projections from Statista:
- 464.7 million people listen to podcasts every month, worldwide, as of 2023.
- This is projected to rise to around 504.9 million by 2024.
- The US is the largest market for podcasts with 100 million active listeners as of last year
- US podcast listeners are up from 82 million in 2021
If we divide the total number of podcast listeners globally by the number of podcasts, it works out at just over 93. In other words, there are 93 potential listeners for every podcast on the market.
How do people listen to podcasts?
According to Triton Ranker’s latest end-of-year report, the vast majority of podcast consumers listen on mobile:
- 94% listen on mobile devices
- 2% listen on desktops/laptops
- 2% listen on smart speakers
- 2% listen on other devices
Interestingly, smart speaker usage for podcast listening has declined year over year. It was at 3.6% in 2020, before falling to 2.7% in 2021 and again to 2.8% last year. This decline is likely due to people across the world returning to work on-site rather than from home) as the world has adapted to the COVID pandemic
The same study from Triton Rankers also found that streaming audio usage for podcasting has grown by 27% YOY.
How often do people listen to podcasts?
Here are some stats that reveal when, and how often, consumers tune in to their favorite podcasts:
- Each podcast listener downloads 3.8 hours of podcast content per week, on average
- This is up from 2.7 hours in 2021
- Each podcast listener downloads 5.6 episodes per week, on average
- Wednesday is the top day of the week for podcast listening
- 11 am – 1 pm EST is the top time of day for podcast listening
Podcast listener demographic statistics
Here are some stats that offer useful insights into the main demographics that listen to podcasts:
- 25-34 is the most popular age bracket for podcast listeners
- In general, podcast listeners are younger than the general population in the US.
- There are more male podcast listeners than female
- Podcast listeners are more affluent than the general US population
- Podcast listeners are more educated than the general US population.
- Podcast listeners are more diverse than the general US population.
How do people discover podcasts?
Now we know who listens to podcasts, but how do they decide what to listen to? Here are some stats about podcast discovery that shed some light on that question, according to a recent survey:
- 40% of surveyed podcast listeners say they discover new podcasts through their listening app’s directory
- 18.3% say they ask someone they know for a recommendation
- 15.2% say they ask for recommendations on social media or online communities
- 13.6% search Google for new podcasts
- 13% browse podcast charts or featured sections for inspiration
(The Podcast Host)
What are the most popular podcast players?
Market share of podcast platforms/players varies depending on what source of data you look at, and whether or not you look at listenership or downloads.
According to Triton Rankers the top podcast players by market share (listeners) are:
- Spotify – 38.4%
- iOS unspecified app – 15.1%
- Apple podcast – 11.5%
- iHeartRadio – 6.2%
- Google Chrome – 4.6%
- Other – 24.2%
And the top podcast players by market share (downloads) are:
- Apple podcasts – 52.9%
- iOS Unspecified App – 13.8%
- Spotify – 11.8%
- iHeartRadio – 3.7%
- Overcast – 1.7%
- Other – 16.1%
The data from Buzzsprout tells a similar but slightly different story. Here are the leading podcast apps by market share according to their statistics:
- Apple Podcasts – 37.3%
- Spotify – 29%
- Web browser – 4.1%
- Google Podcasts – 2.5%
- Apple iTunes – 2%
In all cases, what’s clear is that Apple and Spotify are the two market leaders when it comes to podcasting. They’re neck and neck in their efforts to compete for space in the market.
What podcast genres are most popular?
According to the latest podcast statistics:
- News is the most popular podcast genre, with 23% of the market share
- Comedy is the second most downloaded podcast genre, with 17% of the market share
- True crime comes third with 15% of the market share
- Sports ranks fourth with around 10% of the market share
- Society and culture rank fifth, also with around 10% of the market share.
What are the most popular podcasts?
According to Triton Ranker’s latest end-of-year report, the most popular podcasts of the year by weekly downloads, in ranked order, were:
- NPR News Now
- Crime Junkie
- The Ben Shapiro Show
- Dateline NBC
The same report also found that:
- Stitcher media was the most popular podcast sales network by downloads, with 56.8 million average weekly downloads
- NPR was the second top performer with 33 million average weekly downloads
- Audacy came third with 32.3 million average weekly downloads
- Wondery came fourth with 24.5 million average weekly downloads
- Cumulus Podcast Network ranked fifth with 20.3 million average weekly downloads
Wondering how well your podcast is doing compared to average? Here are some benchmarks you can weigh your performance up against.
- The top 30% of podcasts get 781 downloads in the first 30 days after release
- The top 10% of podcasts get 6,588 downloads in the first 30 days after release
- The top 5% of podcasts get 20,786 downloads in the first 30 days after release
- The top 2% of podcasts get 53,461 downloads in the first 30 days after release
- The top 1% of podcasts get 119,975 downloads in the first 30 days after release
- 29% of surveyed podcasters have less than 5,000 listeners
- 16% of surveyed podcasters have 5k-10k listeners
- 19% of surveyed podcasters have 10k-50k listeners
- 16% of surveyed podcasters have 50k-100k listeners
- 10% of surveyed podcasters have 100k-300k listeners
- 5% of surveyed podcasters have 300k+ listeners
- 6% of surveyed podcasters have 1 million+ listeners
Next, let’s look at some statistics about the people that make podcasts using data from Muckrack’s survey of 591 professional podcasters:
- 45% of podcasters list promotion/marketing as one of their responsibilities, making this the most common task involved in podcasting
- Other top responsibilities include acting as show host (43%), booking guests (39%), acting as executive producer (38%), and editing/audio engineering (37%)
- 47% of podcasters work on just 1 podcast
- 35% of podcasters work on two podcasts
- 18% of podcasters work on three or more podcasts
- 69% of pro podcasters work on their podcasts part-time. Only 31% work on them full-time
- 41% of podcasters started their own podcasts
- 28% were hired by a media company to start a podcast
- 25% joined an existing podcast team
- 18% are working on an offshoot of a previous podcast
- 45% of podcasters get their podcast episode ideas from current events
- 35% of podcasters get their podcast episode ideas from ongoing research
- 32% of podcasters get their podcast episode ideas from audience requests
- 27% of podcasters get their podcast episode ideas from past news events
- 26% of podcasters let someone else on their team come up with topics
How much do podcasters earn?
The most successful podcasters earn good money, as the stats below show:
- 23% of podcasters earn 50k-75k yearly
- 22% of podcasters earn 75k – 100k yearly
- 18% of podcasters earn 30k – 50k yearly
- 15% of podcasters earn 100k – 150k yearly
- 11% of podcasters earn 150k+ yearly
- 7% of podcasters earn less than 15k yearly
- 4% of podcasters earn 15k-30k yearly
Podcast guest statistics
Guests are a huge part of podcasting. Here are some interesting podcast stats that tell us more about guest hosting:
- 46% of podcasters often feature guests
- 35% of podcasters sometimes feature guests
- 15% of podcasters rarely feature guests
- 5% of podcasters never feature guests
- 59% of podcasters book their own guests
- 48% of podcasters let someone on their team book guests
- 9% use an external agency to book guests
How long should podcasts be?
Muckrack asked professional podcasters how long their podcast episodes were, and found that:
- 32% of podcasts are 30-40 minutes long, making this the most popular length
- 29% of podcasts are 20-30 minutes long
- 17% of podcasts are 40-50 minutes long
- 10% of podcasts are 50 mins – 1 hour long
- 8% of podcasts are less than 20 mins long
- 4% of podcasts are over an hour long.
The takeaway here is that 20-40 minutes seems to be the sweet spot when it comes to podcasting. The majority of podcasts are in that ballpark.
How often should you publish podcast episodes?
Having a consistent publishing frequency is important if you’re trying to grow your podcast. Here are some stats that show how often most creators publish new episodes:
- 35% of podcasters publish new episodes weekly, making this the most popular publishing frequency
- 20% of podcasters publish new episodes twice a week
- 19% of podcasters publish new episodes every other week
- 11% of podcasters publish new episodes every day
- 7% of podcasters publish new episodes monthly
- 3% of podcasters publish new episodes a few times a year
- 1% of podcasters publish new episodes yearly
- 4% of podcasters publish new episodes ad hoc.
What are the most important podcasting metrics?
The statistics below highlight the metrics professional podcasters look at to measure their performance:
- 46% of podcasters say downloads are the most important success metric
- 37% of podcasters say monthly podcast listeners/streamers is the most important success metric
- 34% of podcasters say consumption rate is the most important success metric
- 29% of podcasters say total subs is the most important success metric
- 29% of podcasters say social media shares is the most important success metric
- 29% of podcasters say podcast rankings is the most important success metric
- 28% of podcasters say revenue is the most important success metric
Why do people podcast?
Do people start podcasting for love or the money? The answer may be both, according to a recent survey:
- 29% of podcasters do it for enjoyment
- 27% of podcasters do it for revenue
- 24% of podcasters do it to raise awareness/education
- 19% of podcasters do it to build an audience
- 1% of podcasters do it for other reasons
Podcast monetization statistics
According to a survey of pro podcasters, the most popular podcast monetization strategies are:
- Paid subs – 38%
- Ads – 34%
- Premium content – 29%
- No monetization – 27%
- Paid guests – 26%
What are the most popular podcast publishing platforms?
Here are some stats about the publishing platforms podcasters use to distribute their episodes:
- 20% of podcasters use Buzzsprout
- 20% of podcasters use Soundcloud
- 20% of podcasters use Libsyn
- 19% of podcasters use SimpleCast
- 17% of podcasters use Anchor
As this shows, the publishing platform market is pretty evenly distributed. Each of these top 5 platforms has a similar market share.
How do podcasters promote their podcasts?
Social media seems to be the most popular marketing channel for podcasts, according to the Muckrack survey:
- 70% of professionals promote their podcasts on social media
- 54% of professionals promote their podcasts on their blog/website
- 34% of professionals promote their podcasts via email marketing
- 31% of professionals promote their podcasts through partnerships
- 23% of professionals promote their podcasts with paid ads
Podcasters also utilize cross-posting to acquire more listeners:
- 51% of podcasters cross-post clips/episodes to Facebook
- 48% of podcasters cross-post clips/episodes to Instagram – 48%
- 46% of podcasters cross-post clips/episodes to their blog/website
- 44% of podcasters cross-post clips/episodes to Twitter
- 32% of podcasters cross-post clips/episodes to their email newsletter
- 32% of podcasters cross-post clips/episodes to YouTube
As a result of their marketing efforts:
- 64% of podcasters think they’ll be more popular in 2 years
What’s the key to podcasting success?
Finally, let’s look at some podcast stats that show us what most podcasters think the key to success is:
- 62% of podcasters think the key to podcasting success is the podcast hosts personality
- 57% think the key to success is providing an interesting point of view
- 50% think the key to success is guest quality
- 35% think the key to success is marketing
- 16% think the key to success is building partnerships with podcasting platforms
Podcast statistics sources
That concludes our roundup of podcast statistics.
We hope you found these insights useful. If you’re ready to start your own podcast, check out our roundup of the best podcast hosting sites.
You might also want to take a look at some of our other statistic roundup posts while you’re here: